Heart Praises to the Bodhisattva of Love and Mercy

(After Beatrice of Nazareth’s Seven Ways of Holy Love)

1. Her heart was first tenderly touched by love, then immersed in the depthless source of love, refined in the cleansing blazes of love, struck down and then raised from the dead by love, till she shone forth for all as a pure and transparent vehicle of love. All praise!

2. The truth of love has transformed her. The essence of love has informed her. The glory of love has consumed her. The power of love has delivered her into nothingness.The radiant light of love has absorbed her. All praise!

3. The nobility of love has embraced her. The purity of love has become her. The sublimity of love has lifted her up and has owned her in such a way that her very existence is naught but a divinely potent expression of love. All praise!

4. Her mind is utterly plunged in love, her body is the miracle manifestation of love, her heart delights in the song of love, while her doubts, her fears, her cravings, and all emotional contractions melt away in the holy furnace of love. All praise!

5. She is so much permeated by selfless love that she moves and acts, not of her own human persona, or out of any willfulness or conceit, but as the excellent agent of only love. She has banished any lingering resistance to love. All praise!

6. Having been taken up and devoured by love, her only desire now originates in the core of love. Her only aim is to serve in love. Her mission and purpose is defined by love. Her ecstasy is the bliss of love. All cause and effect are not two in love. All praise!

7. Without impediment she has mastered herself, so that she knows her heart is safe and she can use it in peace in the function. She can freely go forth unshackled by ignorance, in the true power and innocence of love. By becoming fully available to every facet of love, she offers the gift of herself which is love to love in the form of the waiting children of love. All praise!

8. The deeper in she is drawn by love, she experiences a spiritual clearness, a wonderful salvation, a noble freedom, a delightful sweetness, a great superior power of strong love, and an abundant fullness of supreme joy. All her senses are united in the grip of love, and her will has become love. She is so deeply flung into the abyss of love that she has become love completely. All praise!

9. The highest concern of all souls is love, to birth and thrive and drown in love. For that she arrives to assist in the deeper and clearer recognition of love, the fuller experience of the richness of love, and the destruction of all that stands in the way of love. All praise!

10. In her work of blessing, in her work of love, she only strives for purity and excellence, and the highest nobility, which are all part of her own being. And to them who dedicate themselves to her, she teaches to live like this — as love. All praise!

11. She serves all beings in every place and in every form for nothing, only from love, without any why and without any reward of praise or gain. As a noble lady serves her Lord out of great love and without reward, and who only takes joy in being able to lovingly serve him, in this way she serves love with love, without measure and beyond measure and surpassing beyond every human concept and reason. All praise!

12. It comes to this: that she desires to answer love fully, and to follow love in all homage and in all service, obedience, and surrender. She unhesitatingly will bear everything, and in this way she is prepared to every service, and ready and fearless to hear the cries of all the world, and to respond in love, as love itself. All praise!

13. She realizes with the mind of rare wisdom the illusory nature of all phenomena, and thus this work goes beyond all her power to accomplish, because what she desires — that which is impossible and unreal for any born being — is that she would strive to do as much as all human beings from the earth together, and as much as the high celestial beings, and as much as all the beings above and below and countless many more: to serve love, and love only, for the sake of love. All praise!

14. Love rules exquisitely in her, works powerfully and rests in her, and all according to the will-less will of love. Just like a fish swims in the breadth of the sea, and rests in its depths, or a bird flies in the vastness of empty sky, so she feels her mind go about unrestrained in the depth, space, and height of love. All praise!

15. This ineffable power of love has drawn her soul into itself, and has gently accompanied, guarded, and protected it. Love has given her the intellect and the wisdom, the sweetness and the strength of love, until she has been raised up to a greater highness and has become completely free of herself, where love rules with no obstruction or complaint from her. All praise!

16. She knows very well that love is in her, as her, completely awake and as strongly alive in the rest of the body as in the abundance of work. But all who want to come to love, have to follow her loyally and practice her ways with formidable intent. They will not succeed if they approach the matter of love half-heartedly. All small things they must esteem highly, until the moment when they are ready and opened for love to rule inside them. Thus love becomes sovereign with superior power, softening all suffering, making every effort sweet, and paying all debts. All praise!

17. Such a blessed soul still has a more sublime way of love. They are pulled above the human measure of love, above senses and reason, higher than everything of which our heart is capable of on its own. Only with love of infinity itself is the heart pulled into the infinity of love, into the unspeakable wisdom and the silent highness, into the deep abyss of Spirit, who is everything in everything that exists, insusceptible, elevated above everything, imperishable, almighty, all-embracing, and who acts all-ruling in everything that exists. All praise!

18. So profound and strong is that great soul sunk in love that her heart is moved to magnify this love, so that her soul flows out and melts in love, and her mind is ardently connected to a fervent desire to serve love’s divine purpose. All her senses set themselves to the fact that she may live by the will of love alone. In such humility she becomes the servant of everyone. All praise!

19. There is her being and her will, her desire and love of the certain truth, the pristine clarity, the noble highness, the luxurious beauty and the sweet company of the greatest spirits who are all filled with abundant love, and who in clear acknowledgement are in the possession, purity, and pleasure of love. With them she is one, and yet also herself, which again is not other than love. All praise!

20. She seeks only to serve love in all of its sublimity. She follows love and now knows love with her heart and mind. Love alone she has chosen in love, above and under and in all the rest. Oh, holy desire of love, how strong is your power in the loving soul! It is a heavenly passion, a sharp torture, a long sorrow, a treacherous death, a dying life! She bears all for the sake of love. All praise!

21. And what shall be the destiny of such a one? That great soul who, in times of mercy, wanted only to do everything for love, shall enjoy love to infinity, where one shall do nothing else but shine forth in all directions as the unsurpassable light of love. May Love bring us all to that. Amen!

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Yoga Vasistha, The Supreme Yoga

(Yoga Vasistha is a Hindu spiritual text attributed to the sage Valmiki. It is believed by some Hindus to answer all the questions that arise in the human mind, and can help one to attain Moksha (liberation). It recounts a discourse of sage Vasistha to Prince Rama, during a period when the latter is in a dejected state. The following is a free transliteration of a salient portion of the much longer text, the Maharamayana.)
 
Simply by considering this Teaching with attention and devotion, everything that needs to be recognized is recognized – what could be easier?
 
However, if freedom from ignorance provokes no interest, then just walk on.
 
Those who seek lasting peace at heart will pay attention to these words, carefully inquiring into the root of both liberation and bondage, in order to discover their true nature.
 
Letting go of all clinging pacifies the mind, while fixation only disturbs it.
 
Still, we hold on tightly to our limiting beliefs and mental fabrications, grasping at this and avoiding that – how foolish!
 
We are relentlessly ruled by desire, so let’s at least want what’s best – the very freedom to which this Teaching points.
 
Nothing has any independent existence, there is only naturally occurring timeless awareness – utterly lucid awakened mind.
 
This expanse of spontaneous presence is the unborn ground of all that arises – a single state of evenness without interruption.
 
Whatever appears is mind, but that mind itself in which dreamy phantasms arise and dissolve is empty of any self-essence.
 
There is nothing but unfathomable mind – neither creator nor creation — only the limitless open spaciousness of pure awareness without center or circumference.
 
Regardless of how diverse or solid any dream phenomena may seem, their appearance itself is deceiving, since they are actually compounded from other dream phenomena, which are themselves dream compounds.
No dream affects one’s true being, which is the light in which all dreams appear and disappear. Awareness alone is prior to consciousness, and awareness alone remains.
 
This awareness in which the play of consciousness rises and falls is none other than you – you are awareness.
 
The body is a vehicle in which spirit touches matter, and consciousness is born.
 
You are not the body, or the consciousness which comes and goes.
 
You are timeless awareness, the spontaneous presence from which is spawned the universe of appearances and possibilities.
 
What has no beginning can never end, what is forever unborn can never die.
 
Consciousness personified is the sense of self, but when the sense of self is recognized as empty of any inherent substance, pure awareness remains unchanged.
 
Consciousness is the dream – that which changes — but whatever appears in the dream, you are not. You are before, during, and after the dream.
 
This pure spacious awareness is the same within all, and is not implicated by the dreaminess of whatever appears in consciousness.
 
There is no greater relief than to recognize one’s true nature, beyond the alternating cycle of birth and death, craving and aversion, pleasure and pain.
 
All suffering stems from ignorance of who and what we really are. Recognition is liberation.
 
Clinging to the belief “I am the body” is the true calamity, from which arise the poisons of greed, envy, delusion, and vanity.
 
The only real antidote is the direct recognition of our true nature, pure awareness, prior to and after the disappearance of the body vehicle.
 
It is only in consciousness that one indulges the dualistic notions of birth and death, knowledge and ignorance, nirvana and samsara, pleasure and pain, self and world, or even liberation and bondage.
 
All that appears is consciousness, but consciousness itself is empty.
 
Awareness of consciousness is emptiness, the source and basis of all, the ultimate principal.
 
Beyond all intellectual comprehension, it cannot be attained, grasped, or manipulated.
 
It is not the dream, the dreaming, nor the dreamer.
 
It never arrives, and never departs.
 
It cannot be said to either exist or not-exist.
 
All appearances and experiences are transient and non-binding modifications of consciousness within the limitless sky of awareness.
 
Awareness is the light behind consciousness which grants it the power to shine.
 
Awareness itself doesn’t change, nor is it modified by the happenings in the dream.
It is the motionless timeless background.
 
You are that.
 
See all else as a dream.
 
Be happy!
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Where God Comes From

Every once in a while in the course of timelessness, as the story goes, the universe contracts down to a point that is smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. As it nears the extreme extent of its contraction, sentient beings for the most part are shipped off to a happy land of radiant joy in the upper reaches of the possible places to land in such event. For a very long while, they live and play there with the greatest of ease, unbothered by snakes and fleas, with rays of pure light flashing from their mind-made bodies as they feed on rapture, float through the air as if there was nothing to it, and generally have a real good time. Every so often you can hear them shouting out in joy, “Hey, alright!” That’s because they are feeling good, and are moved spontaneously to make that understood! They may even start to imagine, given the extended happiness that they are experiencing, that this pleasurable condition will just go on forever. After all, it certainly seems like heaven, so why not?

Because things are the way they are, however, and sooner or later, after the lapse of a very long period as we might measure time, the cosmos begins to expand once again. In the course of this re-evolution, a vacancy one level down from Joy City opens up. As possible dwelling places go, it is really like a mansion with many attractive features, great views, excellent curb appeal, and so forth. Then a certain being, having reached his expiration code date, drops down from Happy Land and proceeds to occupy the vacancy made available in the course of the expanding universe. There he lives and plays with the greatest of ease, unbothered by snakes and fleas, with rays of pure light flashing from his mind-made body as he feeds on rapture, floats through the air as if there was nothing to it, and generally has a real good time (although not quite as good as the previous engagement). And he continues on in that enjoyment for a long, long period of time.

After a while, however, as a result of dwelling there all alone for so long a time, there arises in him dissatisfaction and agitation, and so he says to himself: “Oh, I wish that other beings would come to this place!” Sure enough, just at that moment, due to their number coming up, certain other beings drop down from Joy City and find themselves knocking on the door of the first guy’s mansion. He is happy to welcome them in, and there they live and play with the greatest of ease, unbothered by snakes and fleas, with rays of pure light flashing from their mind-made bodies as they feed on rapture, float through the air as if there was nothing to it, and generally have a real good time (although it is not quite as much fun as the last place). And they continue on in that enjoyment for a long, long period of time.

Eventually, the one who re-arose there first, pauses in the midst of his fun and thinks to himself: “Hey, I must be God, the Great One, the King of the Hill, the Top of the Heap, the Lord Himself, the Creator, the Supreme Being, the Almighty, the Father of all, and these beings have been created by me. Why? Because first I made the wish, and sure enough, they all appeared!”

Moreover the beings who re-arose there after him also think: “This must be God, the Great One, the King of the Hill, the Top of the Heap, the Lord Himself, the Creator, the Supreme Being, the Almighty, the Father of all. And we have been created by him. Why? Because we see that he was here first, and we appeared here after him.”

Just so, the being who re-arose there first possesses longer life, greater beauty, and greater authority than the beings who re-arose there after him. One might say it’s an “early bird” kind of deal. In any case, in the course of time, it comes to be that a certain being, after dropping down from that glorious plane at the expiration of his code date, takes rebirth in this world. Having come to this world, it feels as if he has gone from home to homelessness. He sits down to ponder his fate, and after considering the matter for a good long time, he begins to remember his immediately preceding life (but none previous to that). In the meantime, others gradually drop down and join him in this world, filled alas with snakes and fleas and other bothersome things.

Remembering what had gone before, he exclaims to his new disciples: “We were created by Him, by God, the Great One, the King of the Hill, the Top of the Heap, the Lord Himself, the Creator, the Supreme Being, the Almighty, the Father of all. He lives and plays there in His heaven with the greatest of ease, unbothered by snakes and fleas, with rays of pure light flashing from His Body. He feeds on rapture, floats through the air as if there was nothing to it, and generally has a real good time. But we, who have been created by Him and born into this world, are impermanent, miserable, and doomed to perish. We better start offering stuff to Him, like those sheep over there.”

Just so, theistic religion is born, and what follows next – the confused history of the people — is based on that initial misunderstanding about God and the universe.

 

~Based on a free transliteration of the Brahmajāla Sutta

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The Liberated Soul

(A Free Transliteration after Marguerite Porete)
 
No longer addicted to the chronic compulsion which obscures effortless natural recognition (timeless awareness) with interpretive fantasies and conceptual designations, the liberated soul rejoices in an open invitation for infinite expansion and limitless creative self-expression.
 
Let’s be clear: this liberated soul is so anchored in the perfect divinity of unconditional love that, even if it were to possess all of the wisdom of every sentient being who ever was, is, or will be, it would be as nothing, compared to that unspeakable truth at the heart which was never understood, is not now, and never shall be, by the mind which futilely attempts to figure life out with human reason and logic.
 
Because there is only What Is, the liberated soul only sees and recognizes What Is, and thus in What Is does it rejoice, even in the midst of pleasure and pain, heaven and hell, plus and minus — experiencing What Is as the fundamental identity and true nature of its own being, from which it has never been divided.
 
Indeed, since What Is is none other than That of which one can understand nothing perfectly with the meaning-making mind, it is incomprehensible except to Itself, and thus truly incomprehensible. In that sense, it is natural and fitting that the liberated soul should wander, purposeless, in the sweet paradisiac realms of not knowing, but only being that existence, consciousness, bliss.
 
As long as such a luminous soul should will nothing, its shine is a transparent reflection of the miraculous display of its own perfection. Without clinging or fixating on any momentary appearance of an independent and enduring self, it remains completely unencumbered. However, if it should will something, it spontaneously deludes itself into identification with transient formations, and thus loses its apparent freedom through an error of mistaken identity.
 
Now, whoever would inquire of such free souls, relaxed and at rest in and as the Great Perfection, if they would want to be elsewhere, they would say no; or if they would want to be certain of supreme liberation in this life, they would say no; or if they want to be in some spiritual heaven realm of endless rapture, they would say no. Really, what willfulness would they arouse to grasp any of that conceptual fabrication? Indeed, should a miniscule fraction of any such desire arise in their child-like innocence, they would instantly separate themselves from Love, and what a truly intolerable state would result!
 
Such a liberated soul neither grasps nor turns away pain and sorrow, neither samsara nor nirvana, neither freedom or bondage, but rather gives to Nature all that is necessary, without anticipation or regret. No wonder that Nature itself is so responsive, transformed as it is through that unity consciousness which is the fruit and display of Love, and into which the will is merged. Likewise, the ensuing Play of Consciousness will demand nothing which is prohibited.
 
This simple ordinary life itself becomes the devoted servant who prepares the space for the emergent manifestation of Liberation by Willing Nothing, the unfathomable Life which lives the soul who no longer has within itself any willfulness that it be elsewhere, or anything other than What Is.
 
Such an annihilated soul possesses so great an understanding within itself that nothing can dwell in its memory — not joy, not adversity, not self or other, not good or evil, not right or wrong. All of these are projections of mind, but for the liberated soul, mind is empty, emptiness is clear light, clear Light is union, and union is Great Bliss.
 
This greater part of absolute divine love, which it Is, reveals to the liberated soul its nothingness, which in turn makes it deep, large, supreme, and sure. Standing naked in its own selflessness, one rapturous overflow of the movement of divine light pours into it, revealing the perfection of What Is, and the understanding of what is not. Such revelation transmutes the will of the soul from any fixed abode, in order to dissolve all clinging, contrivance, or contraction.
 
Love and such souls are one thing, no longer two things. This soul is totally dissolved, melted and drawn, joined and united to Love, its own fundamental identity, that it can arouse no will of its own, except the will of that divine Love which lives it.
 
The liberated soul loses its name in That in which it is melted and dissolved, like a body of water which flows from the sea, and when this water or river returns into the sea, it loses its course and its name with which it flowed in many countries in accomplishing its task. Now it is in the sea where it rests, and thus has lost all labor.
 
This soul rests and is held in the country of complete peace, for it is always in the full sufficiency in which it swims and bobs and floats, and so is surrounded by divine peace, without any movement in its interior, and without any exterior work on its part.
 
These two things would remove this peace from it if they could penetrate to it, but they cannot, for it is in the sovereign state where they cannot pierce or disturb it about anything.
 
This is right, says Love, for its will is ours. It has crossed the Red Sea, its obscurations and afflictions have been drowned in it. For it has fallen from grace into the perfection of the work of the virtue, and from the virtues into Love, and from Love into nothingness, and from nothingness into clarification by That — the nameless, the unspeakable. Just so, the soul is so dissolved in That that it is neither itself nor That, and thus What Is, simply Is, and nothing more can be said.
 
This Soul is at rest without obstructing the outpouring of divine Love. The liberated soul no longer seeks itself through strategies, schemes, or methods; not through thoughts, nor through words, nor through deeds; not through creature here below, nor through creature above; not through justice, nor through mercy, nor through glory of glory; not through divine understanding, nor through divine love, nor through divine praise.
 
The liberated soul has nothing to sin with, for without a will no one can sin. It is dissolved by annihilation into that prior existence where Love has received it. Such souls possess as equally dear, shame as honor, and honor as shame; poverty as wealth, and wealth as poverty; torment as comfort, and comfort as torment; loved as hatred, and hatred as love; hell realms as paradise, and paradise as hell; small as great, and great as small. It neither wills nor not-wills anything of these prosperities nor of these adversities.
 
Behold, the liberated soul has fallen into certainty of knowing nothing and into certainty of willing nothing. And this nothingness gives it the All, and no one can possess it in any other way.
 
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The Last Prayer of Dudjom

“This prayer was the last prayer written by His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche who was my teacher. According to Tibetan Buddhism, His Holiness is believed to be the manifestation of Padmasambhava. Padmasambhava was born eight years after the parinirvana, the death, of Buddha Shakyamuni. As prophesized, Padmasambhava was called the second Buddha, and was the founder of Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet. In every prophecy, His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche is described as the manifestation of Padmasambhava himself.

This teaching is not a simple teaching. It was a vision. This is the story about how this teaching appeared.

His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche’s wife had a special Dakini, a wisdom goddess, who would visit her in her dreams from time to time. This Dakini would predict many things to her. One day this wisdom Dakini appeared in her dream and asked her to please ask His Holiness for a prayer, which would be extremely beneficial for future human beings.

The next day His Holiness’ wife made the request. She said, “I had a dream. Please write a prayer for beings.” And His Holiness said, “I have written so many prayers. There is no lack of prayers for people to read. It’s just that they don’t read. That’s the thing. There is no end to what I have written.”

And his wife thought maybe that was right, because in his last life, he wrote 23 texts of different practices. These texts were not just composed. They were wisdom manifestation teachings called terma.

During the time of the eighth century in Tibet, Padmasambhava realized that in the future the teachings would be disrupted. There would be negative forces – those who would try to change the essence of the teachings. So Padmasambhava and his Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal concealed those teachings. They concealed the teachings in the ground, in space, in the water, and predicted exactly at what particular time they would be revealed in the future and the name of the particular Terton that would reveal each teaching or practice. And that is exactly what has happened to this day. These terma revelations are so fresh, and therefore the whole teaching is preserved as it is.

The Terton, or treasure revealer, is like one who has been directly initiated by Padmasambhava himself. All the protectors who were keeping that wisdom took a vow with Padmasambhava that the terma would be given only to the right person, to the Chosen One of Padmasambhava. The whole teaching might be 300 pages, but the 300 pages are written in one line. It is secret and kept hidden in Dakini letters, which is itself hidden. No one can read that text except for the Terton initiated by Padmasambhava. Only he can read it. When discovered, there is only one line and through that a spontaneous text comes out. Terma is self-hidden wisdom. It is so important that we are able to have that. I feel very fortunate. We believe that His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche is the manifestation of Padmasambhava.

Then His Holiness’ wife had another dream. Twice the same Dakini appeared in her dream and this time she said, “I asked you before. It is very important that you request a prayer and you did not. Now please, ask him. Don’t neglect that. It is very important. There is big meaning within the prayer.”

So again she asked His Holiness. And then again His Holiness said the same thing.  “No, I have written so many prayers. People just don’t do. From my side there is nothing lacking.”

And then she requested a third time. That morning His Holiness was in his Paris apartment in France. In the early morning hours, he was in his sitting room, and suddenly he had a vision of Padmasambhava. The whole room started to glow, and became big. A person wearing a white cloth and a symbol came dancing.  And then Padmasambhava himself spoke. He said:

“Establish the dharma. Plant it in your heart. In the depth of your heart, you will attain Buddhahood. Enter the Buddha land. Purify confusion. Happily the Pure land is nearby. Generate diligence in the essence practice. Without practice, who can get results? Looking at all of one’s faults is difficult. Laying down one’s own fault is the essential point. One day all defects will slowly purify themselves.  And good qualities gradually flourish.”

That was the teaching. And then right at that moment, His Holiness wrote this whole teaching.

The life of a Terton is extremely interesting, because all communication is on an extremely subtle level. For gross consciousness it is very hard to understand.  His Holiness immediately picked up a table and told the attendants to fill it with milk, and then he asked his wife and son Shenphen Rinpoche to come.

It was very early and Shenphen Rinpoche thought, “What’s happened?  Is His Holiness’ health ok?”  He came rushing down.  And His Holiness said, “Just sit down. And drink this milk.” Now this is how delicate a Terton’s life is. If Shenphen Rinpoche did not drink the milk at that point, what would become of the teaching? Sometimes they say that one person represents all human beings when in front of a very powerful being. So Shenphen Rinpoche drank it all. And that showed that the blessing would be attained by all beings. He drank all the milk.  And His Holiness said, “Good.” This is how Tertons are.

Sometimes when one is next to a Terton, the Terton will tell you to get him something. He or she may tell you in the middle of nowhere, “Get me something” which you can never get. But the Terton never has the idea that it is not possible to get it, so the only thing you have to do is pick up anything and just give it to him because for the Terton habit is totally dissolved. There is no such thing. And when you just present that, it manifests in that state.

So when His Holiness said, “Drink the milk,” his son drank all the milk. And His Holiness said, ‘Very good. Just now I had this vision of Padmasambhava.” And then he wrote this prayer. This is the last prayer of His Holiness. And there is a tremendous blessing in this prayer.”

~ Choggi Rinpoche

The Last Prayer of Dudjom Rinpoche

(Freely transliterated by the presumptuous Bob O’Hearn, as a gift from a cloud to the sky)

Ati Guru, hail to You!

Sincere and open-hearted homage to the Only One, appearing as Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, Saints and Sinners, Fools and Thieves, Mothers and Fathers, Sons and Daughters, Husbands and Wives, Lovers and Friends, Killers and Marauders, Poets and Clowns, Leaf and Limb, Goats and Sheep, Cloud and Sky, Yin and Yang, Rain and Shine, Ants and Mosquitoes, Dharma Protectors and Dharma Deniers, Carrot and Cucumber, Actors and Audience, the Awake and Aware, the Asleep in the Deep, Magic and Mystery, Good and Evil, the Absence of Good and Evil, the Totality of the Universal Manifestation, and its serene spacious Emptiness!

Always one-pointedly remembering you from the depths of our hearts, we pray repeatedly before the mirror, invoking your compassionate attention.

Through the power of unobstructed loving kindness and gracious tolerance, see us as we are — not different from what you are, and so not separate and alone, not afraid or bewildered, not in a hurry or stalled by delay, not postponing and not anticipating, just here as ever, singing this song to you, with you, as you.

Bless us to accomplish what we came here for, even if we came for no particular reason. That in itself is a blessing!

Having no purpose, we accomplish all in accordance with the Supreme Dharma in which there is nothing to accomplish, to remember or forget, to gather or surrender, to hold and to cherish, in this life or the next.

From former positive actions performed by nobody, we have gained this precious human body, though we are not this body, or any body in particular, nor has anything been acquired, performed, or achieved.

Due to merit, by no means small, we have met the holy Dharma, and it is us, though we are small, and utterly without merit or holiness.

Though we are small, all the uncountable galaxies revolve within us like circus performers under the big top, scattering empowerments, blessings, wise instructions, and party favors garnered from inconceivable Buddha fields as numerous as grains of sand on an infinite beach.

Though we hold such fabulous jewels in our paws right now, our minds, like manic monkeys, are seduced by every sly peanut vendor of distraction that comes around, luring us with the meager enticements of toasted oil and salt.

Having been fortunate enough to have been granted birth in a realm where we could hear and ponder the wisdom of liberation, our obscuring emotions should have diminished and our minds should have evolved to the point of pure perception, but instead, we have just gotten worse, cascading on towards pools of dull stupidity like a raging waterfall!

We trade our wealth, our freedoms, endowments, and wise instructions for bags of stale goobers, until we reach such a tasteless state of delusion that everything we perceive assumes the same quality as a flimsy fairy tale of dark shadows and demonic compulsions.

Dressing up in Dharma costumes, we imagine that we are authentic practitioners, yet this body and mind with which we are identified only imitates true practice, like a cartoon character pretending to be real.

Bereft of even basic human common sense, let alone the clear view of true wisdom, we can’t even admit that we know nothing, but instead casually critique the sages and their teachings.

We remain fixated in self-absorbed opinions and petty airs, while our big mouths parrot any scrap of clichéd nonsense that pops into our heads.

Wallowing in a stagnant swamp of sectarian biases and humorless beliefs, true inquiry is abandoned, and our cruel and thoughtless deeds bring us no shame.

With patience as short as the horn of a snail, we think nothing of others’ well-being, but spare no effort in announcing our fraudulent credentials and wry conceits to any ear that will bother listening.

Mimicking the Dharma in this way is just toting around a big bag of dried turds and claiming it as some precious treasure.

We may have read a lot of scripture and heard a lot of teachings, but they only fatten our arrogance and pride, turning our lives into cautionary tales about how a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

Our feeble mental analysis does not penetrate the beguiling facade of flashy appearances — we are too busy chasing soap bubbles to realize that whatever we are trying to grab hold of is only a bit of glossy moisture floating on thin air.

Though we imagine we have developed some concentration, the slightest flash of phenomenal triviality can scatter our focus like leaves in a gale.

Though we imagine we have partaken of some superior training, the light behind the mind is still like a painted picture of a paper lantern.

Though we imagine we honor an aspirant’s vows, true liberation is the last thing we are really interested in.

Though we can mouth explanations of various arcane texts, we cling to mediocre and mundane word games as if we have never learned a thing.

Though we might give lip service to our nominal Guides, our respect and devotion last only as long as we believe we are getting our money’s worth.

Secretly, we believe we are their equals, and react in a rage of intolerance should anyone dare question our borrowed and embellished points of view.

Respect, love, and kindness toward our fellow practitioners are dependent on how highly they praise and honor our imagined attainments.

Even a cautionary word on their part seems intolerable and we quickly renounce their friendship. The love and compassion born of recognizing that there are no others, that all are ourselves, vanishes like mist when we do not awaken to real Bodhicitta.

Though we act as if we have some genuine experience of the various stages of practice and recognition, in fact we have never experienced an alternative to our uninspected fantasies of interpretation on perception, which we nevertheless take to be real.

Though we have heard that Emptiness is the ultimate teaching, we have no decisive understanding of it; our mind-streams are too fixated in cycles of identification with craving and aversion, hope and fear.

Unable to come to rest in the clear and open transparency of awake awareness, we merely nod to the view, and yet behave as spoiled, restless children.

Though outwardly we appear to be examples of equanimity, yet on the inside, greed, envy, hatred, pride, and ignorance burn like fire.

Though we might reside in the forest or mountains, secluded from the human world, day and night our minds ceaselessly wander in the city streets, looking for another fix to break our jaded sense of boredom and discontent.

We don’t really believe in our own practice, and yet we make a pretense of guiding and advising others, like a child making up stories.

Through our lack of integrity, we shamelessly cheat and harm ourselves, as well as all with whom we come in contact.

Knowing full well what we are doing, we get into self-destructive habits anyway, dragged around by the nose by any fleeting whim or fancy, addicted to every foolishness, seduced by the allurements of instant sensual gratification.

Not maintaining mindfulness, the hot air of our billowing thoughts blows us this way and that, our untamed minds cannot rest, and so we seek relief in oblivion tonics and poisonous cheap quick highs.

Now in this moment as mind regards itself, everything we do or don’t do merely increases our huge bladder of defects.

Everything we conceive of is infected with emotional contraction and conflicting reactivity, yet how clever we still seem to ourselves.

All of our efforts seem destined for failure.

Where can we go from here but even further down?

Even a glimmer of self-observation is disillusioning, while looking to others only amplifies our sense of separation.

Where can we turn in this realm of lies, selfishness, and suffering? Who can we trust to show the way?

If we don’t get our act together now, when Death comes calling, our protests and pleas will fall on deaf ears. No one will save us, and we will only have ourselves to blame.

With remorse and regret, we need to recognize our own fraudulence and self-deception. Isn’t it about time?

All of this would be sad enough if there was such a being as an independent, concrete, and enduring person, but since that has never been the case, we are even more confused.

In a dream, an illusion is chasing a mirage.

Wherever we have failed in our practice through errors of judgment and appreciation, thought or deed, let’s not make it worse by trying to conceal it in the presence of the Victorious Ones.

Therefore, from the depths of our hearts, we confess our failings, our foolishness and cruelties, our greediness and envy, our pride and arrogance, our petty preferences, our grasping and avoiding, our refusal to listen and our stubborn clinging to delusions of mind and body.

In your unbounded compassion, forgive us.

Protect us from the error of dead-end paths.

Guide us so that we can discover the perfect recognition of liberation.

Having so far wandered, distracted, through life, chasing this and avoiding that, we have missed the essential meaning, and instead played the role of charlatans, outwardly appearing as practitioners, but inwardly seething with the snakes of untamed passions and compounded delusion.

Shouldn’t we be treading the path of recognizing the one thing that liberates all, instead of acting like the walking dead, stuffed dummies, exhausted donkeys, or hungry ghosts?

Undeceiving Supreme Protector, sole certainty and support, Root Guru who encompasses all refuges, Inner Guru who is our own True Nature, we pray to you with one-pointed devotion.

Kindly regard us with the most merciful compassion, which is the mark of Awakened Mind.

Bless us with true humility and uncompromising vision, so that we can clearly see our own faults.

Please bless us so that we can always forgive the faults of others, and quit blaming and complaining.

Bless us so we can abandon all selfish schemes and violent reactivities.

Please bless us so that only pure and healing impulses arise in our hearts.

Bless us so we develop freedom from grasping and clinging, and learn to be content with whatever we are given.

Please bless us so we remain mindful of impermanence.

Bless us so we are able to fulfill our purpose in this life, and not die with regrets.

Bless us so we can confidently embody the Way of Love and Wisdom — not as a talking strategy, but as the way we actually behave in life and relations.

Bless us so we practice unbiased pure recognition to the point where our hair stands on end at the mere appearance of anything at all!

Please bless us so that we develop an uncontrived respect and devotion for all life that brings tears to our eyes.

Bless us that we stop daydreaming about unobtainable goals and accomplishments, put aside our present fantasies, relax and let go of past concerns, and just be.

Please bless us with the power to turn the light around and recognize the ever-present radiance of our True Nature in the depths of our hearts and minds.

The ultimate point of practice is to liberate our mind streams, even from the delusion that there is any such entity that is bound and in need of liberation.

Please bless us.

Bless us so that our practice is free of obstacles, or full of obstacles, since obstacles are only mind, and mind is empty.

Please bless us so that its results may ripen immediately, even though time is mind, and mind is empty.

Bless us so that we may liberate everything we come into contact with, even though whatever appears is mind, and mind is empty.

Please bless us so that we destroy the duality of hope and fear, even though there is no creation or destruction.

Bless us so that we see the non-dual primordial wisdom and recognize it as our own.

Bless us so that we reach the secure ground where there is nowhere to stand, nowhere to arrive at or depart from, or nowhere on which to plant a flag and consider that we are done for the day.

Please bless us so that we gain ultimate effortless certainty, until we are able at last to abandon clinging to any certainty and so fall freely into the vast Unknown.

With the great diamond sword of unconditioned pristine recognition, may the conceptual designations of “samsara” and “nirvana” be cut into emptiness with one stroke.

Since within the expanse of the all-pervasive equalness, the unobstructed great bliss enjoyment of the Real, even the word “suffering” does not exist, how much less the notions of “together” or “separate”?

Who could there be still searching for happiness, where happiness and suffering have the same taste, and seeking is self-liberated?

This is the Kingdom of the primordial Awakened One:

May all beings awaken to it in this very lifetime!

Om Ah Hum

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The End of All Understanding

Next, the aspirants, persisting in more ardent surrender, are taken up into simple awareness itself, and leaping beyond all sensible things, they pass as if from sleep to wakefulness, from hearing to sight. And, there, those things that are seen cannot be revealed because they are beyond all hearing and beyond all instruction by voice. For there, incomprehensibly heard, as the end of all speech, is Love, blessed forever, the end of all understanding, because Love is truth, and the end of all sense, because Love is life, and the end, finally, of all being, because Love is being itself, and the perfection of every creature.

Such things are shown in stages to one who submits to Love by unshakeable trust at the heart. For if the trust is great, it unites the aspirant with Love, so that the aspirant transcends all that is not in union with Love Itself. Without Love, trust is not living but dead, and not trust at all. None of the wise of this world can grasp true happiness if they do not know Love. None can see anyone happy except with you, Love. For everyone of happy spirit subsists in your Spirit, as the vivified in the vivifier. And thus in you the finite is united to the infinite and to that which cannot be united, and the incomprehensible is seized by an eternal fruition, which is a most joyous and inexhaustible happiness.

~ On Learned Ignorance

Nicholas of Cusa

1401 to 1464 CE

Transliteration by Bob O’Hearn

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Song of Solomon

Come,
my Beloved!
 
Let us go fearless to the bonfire!
 
Let us spend our dark night among the holy
hyenas and all that would rip and tear at
our facades until we are cleansed raw
of any pretense, any subtle sense of self
believed in need of preserving.
 
Let us rise early to the mist-kissed vineyards,
let our lingering sleepiness and dreamy self-images
be crushed like bunched grape clusters —
tart juice to sweet fruit wine.
 
Let us see if the vine of real love has budded,
its vulnerable tenderness blossomed open, light
into light, a song, a miracle of sound birth,
what no heart has even known, this
particular touch, this one.
 
Ancient balm, ever-fresh, the supernal grace
of welcoming spaciousness, of blue sky
dawning, this touch of Presence,
the mysterious movement
of life itself.
 
The jasmine beckons with its fragrance,
and at our doors are delicious fruits,
both new and old,
which I have kept for you,
my Beloved —
 
each is perfect death to
one whose appetite for truth is
greater than their need to salvage
dusty relics from the weary search.
 
By night on my worn cushion
I sought that which my soul loves;
I sought it, but I found it not.
 
I rose up then, and searched
the temples and high holy places,
and yet found it not, that which
my soul loves, that which
grants the heart
true peace.
 
Oh my Beloved,
you who tantalize the very air
with your majestic absence, why do you
yet hide your countenance from me,
why hold your sweet tongue mute?
 
My Beloved is mine, I am My Beloved’s.
Between us is the vast and windy chaos,
a filmy, blowsy garment stitched of
luminous dreams and dark imagination.
 
When we are at last stripped bare in the furnace
of love’s annihilation, our naked brilliance will
outshine sun and moon; our starry joy, bliss
entwined, will whirl through the shattered
gates of time.
 
Yes, for what I have sought, I am
not other; the eternal is not elsewhere,
and what I am, Beloved, and where I am,
 
You are.
 
Come, come my Beloved,
my Radiant One, my breath,
my blood, my tender heart beat!
 
The fire awaits, its impersonal flames
leap up at our approach.
 
Come, my Beloved—
 
we sleep now, but our
heart wakens.
 
We sleep now, but
our heart wakens.
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Song of Mind

The nature of mind is non-arising,
what need is there of knowledge and views?
 
Originally there is not a single dharma,
why dwell over beliefs and methods?
 
Coming and going without beginning,
sought for, it is never seen.
 
No need to do anything —
It is bright, still, self-apparent.
 
The past is like empty space,
know anything and the basic principle is lost.
 
Casting a clear light on the world,
Illuminating yet obscured.
 
If recognition is obscured,
all dharmas are misunderstood.
 
Coming and going, endlessly modifying —
is there even need for inquiry?
 
Arising without the mark of arising,
arising and illumination are the same.
 
Want to purify the mind?
What mind will you use for that effort?
 
Throughout time and space
nothing is illuminated.
 
This is most profound.
 
Knowing dharmas is not knowing;
Not knowing is knowing the essential.
 
Using the mind to maintain quietude,
you still fail to quit the sickness.
 
Birth and death forgotten —
this is Original Nature.
 
The highest principle cannot be explained;
It is neither free nor bound.
 
Lively and attuned to everything,
It is always right before you.
 
There is nothing in front of you;
nothing, yet everything is as usual.
 
Do not belabor wisdom to examine it;
substance itself is empty and obscure.
 
Thoughts arise and pass away,
one no different from the rest.
 
If the succeeding thought does not arise,
the preceding thought cuts itself off.
 
In past, present and future there is nothing;
no mind, no Buddha.
 
Sentient beings are without mind —
out of no-mind, they manifest.
 
Distinguishing between sacred and mundane,
their anxiety flourishes.
 
Seeking the false,
one gives up the true.
 
Discarding both is the cure,
transparent, bright, pure.
 
No need for hard work or skill;
be like a child.
 
Alertly knowing,
the net of views abounds.
 
Stillness without seeing,
not moving in a dark room.
 
Wakeful without wandering,
mind is tranquil yet bright.
 
All phenomena are real and eternal,
Various, yet of a single form.
 
Going, coming, sitting, standing —
don’t attach to anything,
don’t linger anywhere.
 
Given there’s no direction,
can there be arrival or departure?
 
There is neither expansion nor contraction,
neither sudden nor gradual.
 
Brightness and tranquility are just as they are;
they cannot be explained in words.
 
Mind is without alienation —
no need to manipulate desire.
 
Nature being empty,
desire will depart by itself.
 
Allow the mind to float and sink.
 
Neither clear nor clouded,
neither shallow nor deep –
then it was not old,
now it is not new.
 
Now it is non-abiding!
Now it is Original Mind!
 
Originally it did not exist.
“Origin” is now.
 
Truth has always existed,
no need to preserve it.
 
The struggle is not real,
no need to end it.
 
Natural wisdom is self-illuminating;
All dharmas return to thusness.
 
There is no returning, no receiving!
Stop contemplating, forget keeping.
 
The four virtues are unborn;
the three bodies have always existed.
 
In awareness there are no wandering thoughts,
the myriad conditions harmonize.
 
Mind and nature are originally alike;
together, yet not mutually dependent.
 
Without arising, dancing with forms,
Abiding hidden everywhere.
 
Light out of darkness,
illuminating the darkness itself.
 
As to gain and loss,
why call either good or bad?
 
The totality of universal functioning
originally was uncreated.
 
Realize that mind is not mind.
There is no sickness, no medicine.
 
When confused, you set things aside.
Enlightened, it makes no difference.
 
Originally there is nothing to obtain —
now what use is there in renouncing?
 
When someone claims to see demons,
we may talk of emptiness, yet
the phenomena are there.
 
Don’t destroy the myths of common people;
only teach the cessation of thoughts.
 
When thoughts are gone, mind is abolished.
When mind is gone, action is terminated.
 
No need to confirm emptiness —
naturally, there is clear comprehension.
 
Completely seeing through birth and death,
the profound mind enters the Principle.
 
Opening your eyes and seeing forms,
mind is born in accord with the scene.
 
Within mind there is no scene;
within the scene there is no mind.
 
Use mind to abolish the scene
and both will be disturbed.
 
With mind still and scene as it is,
not avoiding, not grasping,
mind and scene vanish together.
 
When neither arise,
there is rest.
 
The reflection of Truth shines
in the immaculate pool of mind.
 
The nature of wisdom is like a fool —
it does not conceive of boundaries.
 
Praise and blame don’t change it,
It doesn’t choose its abode.
 
All relations suddenly cease;
everything is forgotten.
 
Eternal day is like night,
eternal night, like day.
 
Outwardly like a complete fool,
inwardly mind is empty and real.
 
Those not moved by what changes
move truly.
 
There is neither seer nor seeing;
without seeing there is ceaseless manifestation.
 
Completely penetrating everything,
It has always pervaded everywhere.
 
Thinking confuses, sinking and
bewildering the spirit, but
use mind to stop activity
and it becomes even more erratic.
 
The ten thousand dharmas are everywhere,
yet there is only one door.
 
Neither entering nor leaving,
neither quiet nor noisy.
 
The wisdom of the holy ones
cannot explain it.
 
Actually, there is not a single thing;
only mystery exists.
 
The original face is limitless;
It cannot be probed by mind.
 
True enlightenment is no enlightenment,
Real emptiness is not empty.
 
All Buddhas of the past, present and future —
all ride on this basic Principle.
 
The tip of a hair of this basic principle
contains worlds the intellect cannot imagine!
 
Do not concern yourself with anything;
fix the mind nowhere.
 
Releasing any fixation,
limitless brightness shows itself.
 
Tranquil and non-arising,
set free in boundless time and space.
 
Wherever it moves, there is no obstruction;
going and staying are equal.
 
The sun of wisdom is tranquil,
the light of Recognition bright.
 
Illuminating the galaxies of no forms,
shining full on our town tonight!
 
After all relationships are forgotten,
the argument with oneself is forgotten,
the war is over — nobody survived.
 
Not rising from the mountain seat,
sleeping peacefully in a vacant room.
 
Taking pleasure in Tao is relaxing,
flowing free and easy as you please!
 
No action and nothing to attain,
relying on nothing, manifesting naturally.
 
Everyone is on their way home, but if mind
is not born, what will discriminate
here from there?
 
Knowing arising is non-arising,
awareness itself awakens to itself.
 
If you understand,
no words are necessary.
 
If not, no words will suffice.
 
 
~Niu Tou Fa Jong (594-657)
transliteration by Bob
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Song of Freedom

Here comes Mr. Natural, at ease as you please, walking the Talk by keeping quiet and letting his feet do the speaking, not running toward or away, just walking on.
 
The essence of confusion and wisdom is identical, this dusty skin bag is Light’s own body!
 
When we finally see how things really are, what words can we muster to describe nothing?
 
We all share the same original innocence, that’s why the truth is so true.
 
Thoughts and sensations change like the weather — the night sky doesn’t complain when the stars come out.
 
When we eventually sober up a little, concepts like me and mine, self and other, past and future no longer have the juice to intoxicate us.
 
Even that’s a tale – really, nothing happens.
 
See for yourself! Once we open our eyes, everything is obvious.
 
In the dream, there’s plenty of drama. When we awaken, where does it all go?
 
Ups and downs, profit and loss – none of it can touch our immaculate peace.
 
We’ve all heard about polishing the mirror, but wait, look directly – there is no mirror. That’s what I call clean!
 
Who am I? If I’m truly neither this nor that, I’m this and that too.
 
Ask a corpse to explain itself! How can we find ourselves by searching outside ourselves?
 
Give up the struggle – relax.
 
Everything changes. When we resist, we suffer. What more do you need to know?
 
Recognizing and understanding the intimate relationship between what changes and what doesn’t is wisdom; actualizing it is love.
 
If you don’t agree, it doesn’t matter. Life clarifies itself.
 
Even being in opposition is not being in opposition. It’s all one thing! No, not even that! It’s easy, don’t worry!
 
We’re lived by mystery, empty and marvelous – don’t try to figure out perfection with mind, just rest in it, in harmony, surrendered, released of any complication.
 
Beyond fear and desire, just be.
 
Just BE.
 
The wise don’t linger in concepts, regrets, plans, or frowns.
In this way, they’re like children – clinging to nothing, rejecting nothing.
 
Since there is no other, they go on their way, unnoticed. Since everyone is inherently free, they’re inconspicuous in
their absence.
 
Truth is simple and open to all. Those who understand may not be rich, but they’re happy.
 
What better gift to share than one’s own original beauty?
 
To earnest seekers, all self-images are like tattered old costumes that never quite fit. They appreciate the naked freedom of their own unself-conscious nature – they’ve got nothing to prove.
 
People say all sorts of things, but what’s prior to the first word? Let them say what they will – the extent of any reactivity is a good test of true equanimity.
 
To become a natural human being, don’t linger in any provisional state or get bogged down in beliefs.
 
This is actually the way of things – fluid, dynamic, non-dwelling.
 
Most get frightened when they contemplate their own impermanence, but a rare one now and then wakes up laughing in the midst of the dream.
 
Walking, sitting, speaking, silent – it’s all the same. Let the Wheel spin. When raining, rain, when shining, shine.
 
I don’t mind.
 
When the arrow hit home, there was nobody there – not even a forwarding address.
 
What care I for fame or disgrace – the arrow does the work.
In the grace of supreme beauty, radiance, I discovered my own.
 
It is not mine, this love is for everyone. All revolve in perfection within me. There is no coming or going, all are already home.
No need for a pat on the back, who’s patting whom?
 
“Who knew it would be like this?”
 
What more can one say?
 
The moon still shines, the wind still blows – this light belongs to no one.
 
I am flowing water, following a course carved out by the Great One. I do not seek the truth – the truth moves me.
 
Neither empty nor full, my form is the form of the Real.
When I drop this form, nothing has changed. What has no beginning has no end.
 
Clarity – all is limitless light, mirrored in spotless mind.
 
Listen closely, Holy Friends – clinging to anything is taking false refuge. Running away amounts to the same.
 
Non-dwelling is living without limits, without borders, without chains. Grasping at any experience, concept, strategy, or identity is nothing but an amnesiac’s fantasy games.
 
Some long for the marriage of heaven and earth, yet who has the peace of mind to contemplate the mutual penetration of the known and the unknown within the sphere of ordinary activity?
 
Natural and spontaneous, it proceeds without delay or impediment, granting the universe the power to exist. Past, present, and future are included in one glance, all emerges from one mysterious gesture, thrives, dissolves – ecstasy!
 
What says, “I am”? It’s not mind, a teaching, or a word – right here, before the tongue moves!
 
No praise, no blame, eternally serene. No way to it, no way out of it. The only obstacle — our pretense of self. The only recourse: understanding and discarding that fiction.
 
See through that one, and all is understood. The one and the all are not different – only appearances blind us to what’s what.
 
Just keep walking – if anyone asks directions, point to the heart. Yours and theirs are not two. Looking elsewhere, it’s completely missed.
 
I hail from a long line of jugglers who toss batons of existence and non-existence in a teeming carnival of ineffable light.
 
Don’t ask me what I know – I just work here. When I jettison everything I think I know, I just might become honest and genuine.
 
The Real is direct and immediate – that’s why it’s so easily missed. Still, why complain? That only compounds the befuddlement. Just be grateful — without reason. Gratitude itself is reason enough!
 
Nothing is as it appears. Whatever appears, I am not. Nor am I any different.
 
If this is not comprehended, the dream goes on. If this is comprehended, the dream still goes on. Let’s be clear – the dream never ends, only the dreamer disappears.
 
For years I tried to figure it out, with efforts mounted against the wind. Finally, I gave up the struggle. Now the breeze blows through me.
 
I relaxed and just let go.
 
A closed fist opened.
 
Spirit breathed out.
 
This breath is for all.
 
All are Bodhisattvas.
 
 
(Free Transliteration by Bob, based on the Shodoka, or Cheng-Tao-Ko, by Yongjia)
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Service

Though one may experience the idea of freedom,
lingering in such daydreams is mistaking
imagination for the real thing.
 
I may have wasted the wise instructions
of my teachers, but any regret now
merely feeds the barking dogs
of self-absorbed delusion –
 
true freedom is found in non-dwelling.
 
Just so, I haven’t visited any abattoirs of late,
but I’ve rarely seen anything more disturbing
than the attitudes generated from entrenched
political and religious beliefs, nor anything
more appalling than dispositions spawned
from the furnace of emotional reactivity.
 
To these, I apply the reliable healing balm
of heart-felt service in the same manner raindrops
funnel down spring’s green leaves to moisten
the ground of compassion and nourish
the tender roots of loving kindness.
 
Undone from the distraction of purposefulness,
I carefully mix and meld subtle hints from the wise,
stirring cool clear water in a bowl with no sides.
 
Everything that appears conducts a current
of various energies, expressing itself as
the dance of complementary chaos and order,
implicating nobody, but confusing almost everyone.
 
Abandoning victimhood is a crucial preliminary
to appreciating life for all that it is and can be.
 
In the poignant ballet of impermanence,
there is no independent person, cause, or condition.
 
Relax – we’re all in this together!
 
Still, who can say anything meaningful
about loving kindness these days,
or maybe more to the point:
 
who can explain why we’re so easily
angered and offended by each other
when we’re only here to love one another?
 
Meanwhile, on the killing floor of envy and loathing,
or in blissful repose at the crown of the lotus,
the clown who discerns the empty and luminous nature
of their very own mind sports a sizzling sombrero
filled with the divine molecules of genuine selflessness.
 
Such an utterly useless fool waltzes through the market
with nothing to buy or sell, perhaps pausing along the way
to tell children tall tales, enthralling and amusing them
with delightful nonsense that they will always remember.
 
In any case, Friends, isn’t this how it goes:
 
those who are grateful get more to be grateful about,
while those who complain find more cause to complain?
 
No nonsense there – whatever we’re given,
we can always say “Thank you!”
 
Likewise, no matter what may appear,
recognizing our own chronic resistance
is more than enough to keep us humble.
 
If we’re here to revel and marvel in the Mystery,
then what are we still seeking for, and moreover,
what are we always trying to hide?
 
And what’s the big deal with just being still
in the swarming light of this staggering Shine?
 
If I really paid attention, I might realize that everything –
yin and yang, light and dark, existence and non-existence —
is an innocent play of the natural Great Perfection.
 
How amazing that there is anything at all!
 
A timeless radiant Presence to which no words apply
is standing right in your shoes, beating your heart,
breathing your breath, and looking out in awe
through your own two eyes!
 
Astonishing, isn’t it?
 
In any case, in every place, may everything I do
in body, speech, and mind serve others.
 
When we’re seeing clearly, there are no others.
That’s what I call service! Some may call it love.
 
Whatever it’s called, don’t think twice – just be it!
And while we’re at it, let’s try to do no harm!
 
Clinging to nothing, in love with everything,
I humor myself with chirp-like songs of Yes
to this glorious ordinary wonder while
whistling along on my way, Hey Ho —
whistling along on my way!

 

(Based on a text entitled “How I Live the Practice”, by Patrul Rinpoche)
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Rhapsody on a Discourse from Symeon the New Theologian

As we fall deeper into That which is already perfect, the One Who is without form or shape – Source Itself — may manifest Itself in form and shape in order to experience Itself as that. Nor does the only One cause the Light to come to us and be present with us in solitary quietude only. But how? This One comes in a definite form indeed, though it is a Divine One.

Yes, the Divine does not shine in an incomprehensible, inaccessible, and formless light only, but also appears in a particular pattern or likeness, in the simplicity of ordinary creation, so as to come to know Itself in the living pulse and Radiance of Itself, and to submerge itself in the love It Is, all for the very sake of Love. Source is Love, and Love must Love.

We cannot possibly say or express more than this. Still, This One appears clearly and is consciously known and clearly seen, though invisible while even visible. Source sees and hears invisibly and, just as Love speaks, beloved to beloved, face to face, heart and soul to heart and soul – so the One Who by nature is God speaks to and through those whom by grace It has begotten as gods, in order to reveal Itself to Itself. They in turn become the Lover Who loves so fervently that they become like mirrors in infinite reflection of each other, with not a trace of self between.

Thereupon, your heart may find itself merged in the form of an effulgent light of deep peace and radiant joy. However comforting, this light is but the prelude of the immortal and primordial light; it is the reflected brightness of Source. When this Glory appears, every selfish thought will vanish and every stricture of the soul be loosened, even as every bodily clinging is released.

The eyes of the heart are utterly purified and see That to which all mystics testify. Then the soul sees, as in a clear and spotless mirror, even its slightest failures, and in such vision is brought down to the gentle abyss of humility.

Next, as it perceives the greatness of the glory, it is filled with all joy and gladness; it is struck dumb with amazement at this wonder beyond all hope and tears of heart-felt bliss pour forth. Thus of the old the new emerges, and original innocence is reborn. In this unceasing river of beatitude  all praise flows, though circumstances follow the natural course of coming into view and passing back into that from which they emerged – the primordial ocean of being itself. In deed and truth, all activities of nature are seen at last as naught but This One, the very Living One, ‘I Am that I Am’. Even now, this is no secret to the Heart!

One who is united thusly, merged in the ineffable Light of unconditional Love, sees things of which I am not able to write. The mind beholds marvelous visions and is wholly illuminated and becomes as of light, yet is unable to conceive of them or describe them. This mind is itself light and sees all things as light, for it is not other than the light Itself.

One perceives the light in their soul and is in ecstasy. In such ecstasy one sees it from afar, but as they return to themselves they find themselves again in the midst of the light. They are thus altogether at a loss for words and concepts to describe what they have perceived in their vision.

The light already shines in the darkness, both by day and by night, both within and without. It shines on us without change, without alteration, without form. It speaks, works, lives, gives life, and changes into light those whom it illuminates. We bear witness that “God is light,” and those to whom it has been granted to recognize this have all beheld the Lord as light.

Those who have received the Divine have received the Divine as light, because the light of Its glory goes before It, and it is impossible for It to appear without light. Just as one who looks at the sun cannot but fill their eyes with light, so too one who always gazes intently into their heart cannot fail to be illumined.

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Praise and Relaxation

Homage to the marvelous and ordinary wisdom that transcends the appearance or disappearance of anything at all!
 
Homage to the miraculous awareness that is both uncaused and without effect!
 
Homage to the “Stand Alone” which is neither produced, proliferated, nor subject to elimination by any activities of waking, dreaming, or deep sleeping!
 
Homage to that radiance which is neither revealed by practices nor obscured by ignorance, empty of both fullness and emptiness!
 
Homage to that unspeakable groundlessness, without basis or conditions, shine or darkness!
 
Homage to that without history or number, noun or verb, whose nature is ungraspable, whose presence ineffable, mindless sky-like transparency!
 
Within it there is neither within nor without, self or selflessness, beings or things, knowledge or energy, movement or rest.
 
Whatever state is imagined – liberation or bondage or any level of happiness or fearfulness – certainly does not apply, since there is no support for the arising or dissolution of emotion, thought, perception, sensation or consciousness.
 
If a body were to suddenly appear, tears would spontaneously stream down the face! Arms would lift themselves in praise of the Ati Guru, the Immediate Presence!
 
All homage to that one! All praise! All salutation! Not other, not the same, not different!
 
The activity of mind, judgment and interpretation – what a carnival side-show! A light still burns when the clowns bed down. The inextinguishable!
 
Look – a ghostly acrobat flies through the air! That is all the worlds, the totality of universal manifestation. Nowhere to land, a piece of smoke – that’s you!
 
All that is, was, or will be – relax! “I”, “you”, “the world” – no substantial existence. There is no victim, no perpetrator. Shanti. Shanti. Shanti Om.
 
Oh mind, why run around like an addict on the dope of willfulness, quivering at the display of your own rootless narrative?
 
In the midst of endless modification, you are what doesn’t change. Nothing to attach to, nothing to avoid. Relax!
 
Being or nonbeing, just let it go; let there be this, let there be that – unity or duality are toys in the attic. The house was not built, no fire consumes it, it is not a house, there’s no dweller within, no foundation, no deed of ownership.
 
In the same way that mind can’t hold onto a dream, it can’t grasp itself. “Is” and “is not” don’t apply here either. In such happiness, how does searching for happiness make any sense? Relax.
 
Within such immaculate innocence, who is a friend and who is a stranger, who is the teacher and who is the student?
 
Break a bottle, space melts into space. Purity into Purity. Really, there is no bottle, no purity, no glassy space, no embodied soul, not even a trace, no nature, no story, no once and future glory. Glory to that!
 
There is no world, no holy teaching, no gods, no surrender, no religion or politics, no tribe and no gender, no smoke-ring path, no image to defend, no pretender or defender, no creation or destruction, no progress towards it or attainment of it. Relax!
 
Truth is not modified by spiritual practice, and yet there is practice. Life lives itself. Emptying the mind makes it no clearer. Chanting and yoga bring it no nearer. The Guru does not keep it wrapped up in scrolls. Jai Guru! It is, simply is, in Itself, by Itself.
 
There is no problem to be solved, no prize for a winning story. Close the book and exhale. There is nothing broken, nothing to fix. Oh mind, why struggle? Let what happens happen, yours is none of this!
 
Burn up all grasping at preferences; be kind to all you meet. If you could see who they really are, you’d fall down at their feet!
 
A word to the wise, “Behold — it’s you.” No trace of any thing remains, yet this goes on forever. Homage to that! Birth and death – complete charades!
So too with time and timelessness, space and spacelessness – all fictions.
 
Beyond “I Am” – not a creature is stirring, not even the One. Not Guru, not God, not self or Self. Homage to That! If there is just this, who bows down to this? Beyond fuel and fire, not even ash – relax!
 
Desireless? Unconditional? Essence? Why truck with words to places words can’t go, where mind on mind’s wheels gains no traction? Don’t forget, You Are! All spacious equanimity, all selfless silent courtesy, all inconceivable grace! Yes, I’ll sing to That! We are that song, singing itself, wordless, soundless, silent. Silence.
 
Any idea about this is false — any notion or fancy. Any concept that this is some possible state of attainment is false. Any concerted cognition that this just might be other than this, or once was, or will be, is false. Ignore thought.
 
Be this! You are not other. Homage to This! Homage to That! All is bliss – no, not even bliss, bliss which neither begins nor ends, the natural state of itself as itself. Don’t scratch your head – just relax!
 
What can be said? That there is no separation, no unity, not neither? No frame of reference, no reference to frame? No provisional explanation that is anything like a name? No name — your name. Homage to you!
 
Fate and fortune have nothing on you. You have never existed, Homage to You! This understanding – You Are – is like space. And yet, what stirs in the womb of forgetfulness? Not even a trace! That’s your face! Yes, Homage to you!
 
What can be said? You are not the one suffering, the one fleeing, the one racing to far distant finishing lines. You were finished before you began. There is no line, nobody ran, nobody’s running now, nobody ever will. Don’t worry, relax!
 
What can be said? If waking, dreaming, and deep-deep sleeping are not what you are, how can a word be said? If there is no past, present, or future, how can a word be? Even so, “Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum”.
 
What can be said? Not even the impeccable recollections of imaginary cosmic Lords can identify you! Neither heaven nor hell exist in you – the wise might even call that heaven, but the wiser would not even speak. Homage to them!
 
What can be said? There is no formula to this. No scripture, no teacher, no science of this. No mantra nor secret initiation. Why complicate with symbols and ephemeral fabrications? Even to say, “only awareness remains”, what value is that? What is so hard about just being still? And beyond being still, just being?
 
Nothing can be added or subtracted from the radiant sufficiency of Unconditioned Mind. There’s no place like Home! Still, words and teachings can’t reach it, nor can worshipping with smoke and flowers.
 
Forget everything you may have heard or thought about it. Forget everything. Forget forgetting. That’s worship! Welcome Home!
 
At Home, nobody’s lost or found, pure or impure, united or separated — never other than, aware space itself. Even the most heartfelt submission to any otherness may be seen as arising from a subtle sense of division within a fading dream. Let it go. Wake up – You’re Home!
 
“Does the world exist, or not?” Rub your eyes! Is there any other Nirvana than this? That you Are? Body/mind/sensation, or no body, no mind, no sensation – what’s to cling to, what’s to let go? What has been lost, what found? What has been subtracted, what added? Bliss into bliss, light into light, Nirvana falls into Nirvana! Homage to that!
 
Free from the taint of Nirvana, beyond intelligence or design, neither wise nor foolish, neither silent nor speaking, neither reasonable nor argumentative, you am not the one in conflict, you am not a riddle to be solved, you are what is, simply is. Is there any other Paradise than this? Homage to this!
 
Identity, that carnival of anxiety, cannot raise a tent in you. No captive animals perform in you, no ringmaster, no ring, no juggling clown of ego. Still, enjoy the show! Here, there is no concentrated absorption in the body, subtle body, causal body, nor anyone to be absorbed. No heartbeat, no fixation, no great chain of causation, no open or closed door. Relax!
 
Oh mind, fear is born of imagination, but there is no imagination within you. Events in dreams do not touch you. You don’t change, only words do, and you are free of all words. Just so, relax!
 
There is no up or down in you, no right or left, no within or without. You, just as you are, are the Supreme Emancipation! Nevertheless, there is no liberation, because there is no bondage. Homage to you!
 
Beyond ideas of space and time, higher or lower, right or wrong, inconceivable peace pervades. Oh mind, abide in your own Source! This is the Natural State, this is the everything and the nothing! Relax! No lid, no jar, no space – this is Grace!
 
There is no permanently existing person. The incomprehensible chaos of un-caused causality from which the formation of the person-idea somehow evolved does not exist in you. Don’t worry, oh mind, be happy! Relax!
 
The whole infinite multiversal manifestation, all galaxies and realms, all gods and goddesses, all demons and angels, all creatures and elements, lovers and friends, deeds and dreams, history and myth, all space and time, visible and invisible: a projection of your own mind!
 
Recognition is liberation. Homage to That! If unrecognized, don’t worry – relax! Nothing to recognize, nothing to do, really — nothing to become or un-become – relax!
 
Mind cannot explain itself. If it can be said, it’s not that. Silence is equally futile. Neither words nor silence – what is that?
 
The concept of some pilgrimage through time and space is false. There is no night or day in you. No sun or moon ascends and descends in you, no alternating light and shade.
 
Equanimity, absence of desire – these are paper flowers, decorations in your hair. Neither first nor last, neither Alpha nor Omega, not a thing, not a cursed or blessed thing, nor a casual or sometime thing, not a many-splendored thing, neither empty nor full, all emptiness, all fullness, all thingy-ness, liveliness, all splendid grace, essence of being, the wonder of futility, the eternal smile — all horses without riders, all carts with no wheels, no driver, nor any destination home. To what never departs or arrives, Welcome Home! Relax!
 
Beyond mind, how can that even be said? All names, descriptions, theories of measurement, even saying it is indescribable, immeasurable – stories for children when time for bed.
 
The amazing marriage of life force and consciousness is performed in the chapel of cause and effect. Since you alone are, there is neither bride nor groom, witness nor service, preacher or vow. All go in peace. How about that!
 
How can the limited mind, which appears and disappears, which is origination-dependent, possibly discern that limitlessness in which it arises and dissolves? How about that?
 
Pain and pleasure are interpretations based on the faculties of sensation and cognition, memory and association, yet no such condition is true of you. “I” and “mine” do not apply to you. How about that!
 
Nothing to gain and nothing to lose – discrimination is fine for the objective world, but the objective world does not exist in you, nor you in it. How about that!
 
O mind, what use are your prayers, your mumbled incantations? There is no world before this, no world to come, no world, no “you” or “I”, no “true” and “untrue”, no family, no religion, no refuge, nor any place to flee within you. You alone are. How about that!
 
Dependent on no scriptural map, shrugging the shoulders and just walking on – that’s the way, don’t tarry! Done with hope and expectation, with the vanity of idealism – purity, righteousness, the exclusivity of special vision, the arrogance of choice or choicelessness – all these are cast off, dust in the wind. Palms open, immeasurable compassion – that’s the way, every day.
 
Neither happy nor sad, troubled or glad, you see through both sinner and saint, unity and diversity, mind and its play. It’s the Natural Way. What can one say? Homage to that!
 
What care do you have for the toys of this world, the phantom transitions of birth and death, the meditations and willful disciplines of the seeker? Not a thing exists. Nothing is happening. This is you own recognition.
 
The immense complexity and magnificent drama of the grand universal unfolding is not even a vanishing wisp of memory. Not even a fading dream.
 
Nothing has happened. There is no Dharma or Liberation, nothing to strive for, nothing to become, nothing to attain or release, nothing to do or not do. Homage to that!
 
If even the ancient Holy Books and luminous profound commentaries are superfluous (except perhaps as winter tinder), what value the words of redundant pundits who squint their eyes and torture their tongues to explicate them? Just walk on.
For those whose mind has ceased to linger in the relentless melodrama of attraction and aversion, whose transparent presence has become loving and compassionate, free of any clinging, any motive to cling, ever at peace, unmoved by the dream, that incomparable Maestro, the Guru, Awareness Unbounded, abides as their own Original Nature, the Natural State, at Home, as Bliss. Homage to that. All praise and exclamation!
 
There is no room for pride here, nor any emotional reactivity. No conflict, no struggle. Deep Peace, Mighty Kindness! Bearing the unbearable, recognizing the inherent perfection of “what is”, an Ocean of Mercy in the dry and desperate realms – all homage to the Liberator!
 
Who is that one — relax – it’s you!
(This piece was based on several Dzogchen texts, the originals of which unfortunately I cannot track down, so it will have to stand alone on its own)
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Mind Itself

An Eccentric Homage to Maitripa
 
Because mind itself is already free of any binding state,
beings in spirit realms may cast their compassionate regard
towards this dimension in waves of loving anticipation.
 
Because mind itself is already released from futile grasping
at imaginary contrivances such as “I” and “mine,” the activity
and function called “ego” may present a useful opportunity
to navigate and explore the slower vibrational frequencies
in the virtual form of a self, a person, an action figure.
 
Because the essence of mind itself is empty, whatever appears
is humorously transparent, although not always in a funny way —
sometimes the joke, as they say, is on you, so always refrain
from taking any of it seriously, especially yourself!
 
Because the nature of mind itself is luminous, wherever
we travel in the past, present, or future is already illumined
by the abundant candle power of our natural attention.
 
Because the character of mind itself is unceasing awareness
without object, all of the great sages and saints had nothing
to offer which could surpass the song of a bumble bee.
 
Because mind itself appears in numerous ways, pointing
one’s finger and confidently claiming that it is this or that
merely demonstrates how little we understand simple things.
 
Because this luminosity of mind itself transcends phenomena
designated as seeing, seen, and seer, whatever may appear
and disappear does so in a theater attended by nobody.
 
Because mind itself is already liberated from the self-absorbed
fabrications known as meditation and meditator, happy dreamers
like to soar on the layered thermal currents above the fruited plain.
 
Because mind itself is at ease and unstructured, that very freedom
from mental engagement translates into doing nothing in particular,
or perhaps doing something if it happens to be that kind of day.
 
Because in mind itself there is no grasping, the wry hallucinations
this fictional world seems to offer constitute an elaborate prank
consciousness plays on itself, just to observe its own reaction.
 
Because mind itself is already free of the structured contamination
promoted by the ancient holy scoundrels as meditative equipoise,
one would be better off serving living beings without harboring
secret fantasies of accumulating merit at this ghost festival.
 
Because the nature of mind itself is spacious pristine emptiness,
various texts dedicated to illuminating exactly what that implies
have never been circulated, since they have never been written.
 
Because mind itself is clear light by nature, just getting up
off of one’s cushion and strolling about in the cool fresh air
on a fine Spring day can be quite invigorating, especially
when unimpeded by habitual streams of conceptualization!
 
When the mind itself is settled in its own unstructured nature,
it is simply ordinary consciousness, vividly present, beyond
any chronic clinging to daydreams of subject and object.
 
Because mind itself and appearances are indivisible,
what more is there to say?
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Mahamudra

Tilopa’s Mahamudra Instruction to Naropa
in Twenty Eight or So Verses
 
 
 
Homage to the Great Ones!
Homage to Mahamudra!
Homage to what is!
 
What is, is.
What more can one say?
Mahamudra cannot be taught or learned.
 
Still, Naropa, you have practiced earnestly,
so here’s a tip:
 
Does space have a foundation?
 
Like space, Mahamudra depends on nothing;
relax in the flow of essence —
All Is Well.
 
Staring into the empty sky, vision ceases;
just so, when mind attends to mind itself,
repetitive and obsessive thought peters out
and Awareness peeks out from under blankets
of delusion and reveals its innocent nakedness.
 
Like morning mists evaporating in bright sunshine,
waves of mental creations dissolve when
you behold your own original nature.
 
Space has no color or shape
and cannot be stained either black or white;
just so, mind’s essence is beyond the play of opposites
and can neither be tainted by darkness, nor
embellished by light.
 
The mechanics of time is powerless
to tarnish the crystal clarity of the sun’s heart;
likewise, clouds of ignorance have no power
to obstruct the clear light of mind’s essence.
 
Although space is called “empty”,
actually it is inexpressible;
although the nature of mind is called “clear light”,
that’s really just a play of words.
The mind’s primal nature is like space —
all-pervasive.
 
Be still, easy, and relaxed,
let sound reverberate as an echo in
silence and observe the whole thing
come down in natural harmony.
 
The body is like a hollow bamboo,
the mind, like space, extends
omni-directionally:
 
relax into your intrinsic nature without resistance –
mind with no purpose is Mahamudra –
yes, that’s it!
 
The clear light of Mahamudra cannot be found
in the realm of the known.
 
By clinging to the known, practice fixates, yet
when all interpretation on perception ceases, when
the heave of the ocean is one with its peaceful depth,
when the chronic argument with oneself is forgotten,
the unbroken focus of our practice is a lamp lit in
spiritual darkness. Right now, let it shine!
 
Free of intellectual conceits, abandoning dogma,
the truth of every school and scripture is revealed.
 
Absorbed in Mahamudra, you are free from illusions;
Poised in Mahamudra, guilt and negativity burn off;
you, just as you are, are the Great Emancipation!
 
The fool in his ignorance, ignoring Mahamudra,
only beats a paper head against non-existent walls.
Have compassion for those who suffer constant anxiety!
 
Sick of restlessness and trusting one’s own heart,
find a true Guide, for when their blessing
touches your heart, the mind is liberated.
The heart rejoices –
you will not know it, you will be it!
 
Hey now! Hey now! Listen with joy!
It’s just as you are right now!
 
Investment in this dream body is futile;
it is the cause of every worry.
Since such involvement is pointless,
let’s be realistic!
 
Nonduality is our obvious condition;
a silent mind is real meditation;
spontaneity is genuine action;
when hopes and fears have
been incinerated,
what remains is
what has ever been –
 
Mahamudra!
 
Beyond identification with any image
the mind is naturally clear:
follow no path if you want to walk in the
footprints of the Free;
employ no strategies to gain
what has never been lost.
 
Hey now! Hey now! Listen with a little sympathy!
With insight into your pretense of lack,
realizing that nothing lasts, that all is
a kind of fiction, a meaningless trick provoking
frustration and boredom,
turn around and abandon your
house of cards.
 
Be surgical with attachments and consider
wherever you are as the solitude of the
forest or mountain retreat;
abide there in a state of non-meditation and,
attaining no-attainment, you
attain Mahamudra.
 
A tree branches out and sprouts leaves, yet
when its root is severed its foliage withers;
just so, when the core of the personal story is
seen through and recognized as an error of
vision and appreciation, what is there left
to affirm or defend?
 
A single lamp dispels the darkness
of a thousand blind alleys;
likewise, a single flash of the
mind’s clear light unravels
bundles of conditioning and
fixed habit patterns —
let it shine!
 
Hey now! Hey now! Listen with joy!
Mind cannot grasp itself;
non-doing cannot be understood by
compulsive doing;
to realize the truth of non-action and no-mind,
cut the mind at its root and
rest in naked awareness.
 
Allow the mud of thinking to clear;
stop projecting –
leave appearances alone:
this very world,
without addition or subtraction,
is Mahamudra.
 
The Mystery itself dissolves your confusion:
don’t try to change things, just rest in the unborn essence,
allowing all conceptions of yourself and the universe
to melt away.
 
True vision opens every gate;
True meditation plumbs the infinite depths;
True activity is unpredictable yet decisive;
the true goal is ordinary being
devoid of hope and fear.
 
At first your practice is like a river falling through a gorge;
in mid-course it flows like a gently meandering stream;
finally, as a river merges with the ocean,
it ends in consummation like the
embrace of lover and beloved.
 
If you can’t comprehend what I’ve told you,
simply persist as you truly are –
Awareness itself.
 
Don’t be distracted,
your very own mind is
what makes all this real.
 
In selfless service to all beings,
happiness will arise:
breathe deeply and let the breath of compassion
circulate through your heart, be a blessing to
all you meet by meeting yourself in all!
 
 
 
Colophon:
 
This translation into English has been done by Kunzang Tenzin in 1977, after transmission of the oral teaching by Khamtrul Rinpoche in Tashi Jong, Kangra Valley, India, and then foolishly transliterated by Bob, one seasonal morning in 2003, amidst old-growth Redwoods in the Northern California Cascades.
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Hsin Hsin Ming

Verses on The Mind of Absolute Trust,
By Seng T’san
 
 
Satisfying the deepest longing
at the heart isn’t difficult –
just practice letting go
of grasping and avoiding,
and recognize what remains
as your own native happiness.
 
When we cling to differences,
heart and mind conflict.
 
If you want to end the inner war,
don’t be for or against.
 
The argument with oneself
is the primal disease of the mind.
 
Relentless suffering.
 
Not awake to the deeper principle,
we persist in disturbing our natural harmony.
 
Luminous spaciousness, empty and full —
that’s the mind of least resistance,
the mind of carefree humility.
 
Habitually craving and avoiding,
we can’t allow mind’s true nature,
Clear Light, to reveal itself.
 
Don’t get bewildered by things;
don’t lose yourself in what changes.
 
Be at peace in the immaculate
transparency of all arising;
stop trying to be
a knower.
When we don’t live as Tao Itself,
boundless and non-dwelling,
we part ways with our natural happiness,
confusing ourselves with borrowed
schemes and dogmas, claims
and superstitions.
 
Believing the world is real, we’re
ignorant of its deeper reality.
 
Denying the world is real, we’re
blind to the selfless innocence
of all forthcoming things.
 
Open the eyes!
 
The more we think about it all,
the farther we are from the truth.
 
Dropping off both body and mind,
there’s nowhere we can’t go.
 
Returning to the heart, we’re welcomed home;
chasing appearances,we lose their source.
 
In one moment of unbiased clear seeing,
we can transcend both form and emptiness.
 
Don’t keep searching for truth;
just let go of all opinions,
and truth will find you.
 
For the mind surrendered,
all selfishness dissolves.
 
Free of doubt, fearless in love,
we can trust the universe
completely.
 
Nothing to gain, nothing
to lose – all is empty,
brilliant, perfect
in itself.
 
In the world of all-as-is,
there is no self, no non-self.
 
If we want to speak plainly,
the best we can say is
“not-two.”
 
At the heart of surrender
there’s no separation,
nothing to add nor subtract:
 
no lost nor found,
no bondage nor liberation,
no here nor there,
no this nor that —
 
the awakened awaken
to this truth, as
this truth.
 
The tiny is as large as the vast
when conceptual borders vanish.
 
The vast is as small as the tiny,
when mental limitations dissolve.
 
Being is an expression of non-being,
non-being is no different from being.
 
Until we understand this truth,
we won’t see anything clearly.
 
One is all, all is one —
 
when this becomes self-evident,
what interest in stages or categories
can occupy one’s attention any longer?
 
Preachers become obsolete.
 
The mind of absolute trust is beyond
all thought, all striving, all motive
to know, to cling, or
to turn away.
 
It is non-dwelling mind,
perfectly at home, at peace,
for within it there is no past,
no future, no present —
 
only what is.
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A Little Han Shan

Some might laugh at my poems but no matter —
they’re fine just as they are, and fun besides!
 
They need no commentary, no studious explanation,
not even any signature.
 
Who even cares if they’re read or not —
certainly not me!
 
The pine just sprouts needles,
the wind just blows.
 
I have no literary pretense, no wordy ambition,
but still, these poems can offer a taste of light.
 
 
If you would read my poems,
prepare yourself well: be pure of mind.
Open your tight-fisted heart; flatter none
but honesty with your authentic voice.
 
From the bag of Self, unpack selfishness;
refolding what remains, your Buddha-body.
This is your first assignment. Do it now,
and quickly. I speak the law of what’s true.
In our hearts, I’m not the same as you —
if in your heart you should become like me,
then you can reach the core of it too.
 
I choose to bray at the cock-eyed moon,
to dance through mountain clouds at dawn.
Why bury my hands in my sleeves,
place a lock on my tongue, tie legs in knots
and sit like a stone?
 
My hair flows and cascades!
 
Among the winding creeks and towering crags
there lives a happy hermit of a man.
 
In daylight he wanders freely ’round the mountain,
intoxicated by the mere existence of anything.
 
At night he sleeps wherever he pleases,
at home in any cave or pine needle nest.
 
Let all the springs and summers pass themselves,
selfless peace and serenity wrap around him
like a robe of comfy light.
 
What a great and indescribable pleasure –
Real Freedom!
 
Suchness sometimes means just sitting,
relaxing, in a cool autumn stream.
 
On Tien-Tai Mountain I make my home,
clouds and fog keep the tourists away.
 
This very life is a magic picnic
laden with oodles of bliss!
 
Tzon Tze said:
`The good death you are having
makes the earth and sky your coffin.’
 
The Unborn is prior to this world —
it has no form, health or disease.
 
It’s the master of all things,
following nothing, at rest in all.
 
Climbing Cold Mountain —
the path forward never seems to end.
 
In the long stream there are many stones;
on either shore the grass is the same.
 
White clouds silently drape the hillside,
the peaks are obscured in the morning mists.
 
Building my hut was easy enough — just borrowed
some light from essence of moonshine.
 
Wild deer make an excellent audience!
 
A man beyond both existence and non-existence,
I thoroughly enjoy this beautiful life!
 
Birth and death are just like water and ice.
Water becomes ice and ice turns to water.
 
There is nothing otherwise.
 
Han Shan-Tze,
Ever Thus!
 
Living alone —
no birth, no death!
 
I stand on the peak, lit by bright sunshine,
gazing out at the clear blue sky.
 
Crane and friendly clouds fly by, beckoning me
to pick flowers down by the lovely riverbank!
We play till dusk, watch wind rising, waves rippling,
water birds lifted on wings of flight.
 
Afloat in this boat my mind expands —
no place to hide, essence of space!
 
Now the old year is gone, the spring has come.
Flowers smile at the stream, cliffs dance
playfully in clouds and mist!
Butterflies seem so glad, while
fish and birds are sporting like mad!
 
Our friendship is endless, I am so happy
I can no longer sleep!
How sublime is this nature —
creation with no creature therein!
 
 
The Tao is like a stream from nowhere,
yet there is water in every mouth!
 
I gaze far off at Cold Mountain’s summit,
alone and aloft above the crowding peaks.
 
Pines and bamboo sing in the swaying winds,
sea tides wash beneath the shining moon.
 
I gaze at the mountain’s green borders below
and ponder philosophy with the puff-ball clouds.
 
In the wilderness mountains and forests are fine, but
I yearn for my companion to delight in this Way.
 
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Gorakhnath

Q: Who is Gorakhnatha?
 
A: Gorakhnatha (aka Gorakshanatha) Gorakhnath,
the disciple of Matsyendranath, is credited with the
foundation of Laya or Kundalini Yoga and Hatha Yoga.
He is also revered by many of the Natha subsects as their founder.
Such sects are called Kanphata (split ear) after their initiation
rite in which the ear cartilage was cut to allow the insertion of
large wooden rings.
 
The Gorakhbodh
 
This is a very obscure text of the Nathas, conducted in the form of
questions from Gorakh (Gorakhnath) to Macchendra (Matsyendranath).
The English translation, from a Hindi text, was published at the
beginning of the century and is out of copyright.
This text is a free transliteration.
 
Gorakh — To start with, any suggestions for the beginner?
 
Macchendra – First of all, relax! Don’t lose your sense of humor!
Abiding unperturbed in the midst of all conditions, begin to
uncover the yearning at the heart of your original innocence –
let that yearning lead you into the unknown of your own being,
discovering here for yourself your own indivisibility.
 
G What should one see, contemplate, treat as the essence?
With what should one shave their head, and
with what knowledge seek Freedom?
 
M One should see oneself, lightning
flashing in a dark sky,
contemplate the evanescence of smoke,
recognize essence in a dew drop,
shave their head with the razor of humility, and
seek Freedom by allowing it to reveal itself as
your innate knowledge in its perfect functioning.
 
G What is the teaching?
Where does Truth reside?
Who is the Guru?
 
M The most ordinary is the teaching.
Truth is what is.
Guru is awareness itself, in which
all appears, moves, and vanishes.
 
G What is the form of the mind?
What is the vital breath?
What is the way?
 
M Emptiness is the form of the mind,
the vital breath is life force,
the way is unspeakable.
 
G Which is the root and which the branch?
Who is the Guru and who the disciple?
What is essential about going one’s own way?
 
M Mind is the root and vital breath is the branch,
silence is the Guru and attention the disciple.
With the essence called Welcome
one wanders about, greeting
oneself in all sentience, regarding none of it as
other than oneself.
 
G What is the seed and what the field?
What is direct hearing?
What is true vision?
What is the method?
What is liberation?
And what is salvation?
 
M The word is the seed,
perception the field,
attention is direct hearing,
discrimination is true vision,
the ocean and the earth is the method,
being itself is liberation, and so
what need of salvation?
 
G Which is the tree without a trunk, and
which is the parrot without wings?
Which is the dam without a shore, and
who dies without death?
 
M Vital breath is the tree without a trunk,
mind is the parrot without wings.
Constancy is the dam without a shore,
sleep is dying without death.
 
G In what house is moon, the sun?
In what house does Time play music?
Where do the five elements rest?
 
M The moon in the house of mind, the sun in the vital breath.
Time plays in Emptiness, the five elements rest in Realization.
 
G Where does the mind reside in the state of self-transcendence?
 
M Nowhere.
 
G What destroys ignorance?
 
M The Fire of Truth consumes ignorance, and
fire goes where there’s fuel.
 
G Who is the Self?
Who is the husband of the earth?
Where is Home?
What is the doorway to Truth?
 
M The Self, is.
Bliss is the husband of earth.
Awake-awareness is Home.
Giving up the struggle to know
is the doorway to Truth.
 
G How does one free oneself from attachment to Illusion?
 
M Discover the one who would be free.
 
G Where do mind, vital breath, the word and the moon reside?
 
M The mind resides in the heart,
vital breath resides in the navel,
the word resides in the will,
the moon resides in the heaven.
 
G Who is the creator of the body?
Where does light come from?
 
M Here is the body,
here is the light.
 
G How does fragrance reside in the flower?
How does the soul conceal itself in the body?
 
 
M As fragrance is the consciousness in the flower,
so the soul is the all-pervasiveness in the body.
 
G Had there been no flower, where would the fragrance have been?
Had there been no body, where would the spirit have been?
 
 
M The same place.
 
G Where do all things rest?
 
M All rests in the Self, the Real.
 
G Where does sound arise and dissolve?
 
M The Unconditioned.
 
G When form dissolves and the Formless remains, what then?
 
M The Natural State, the same state in which
you now exist.
 
G What is the root of the rootless?
Where does the root reside?
Who is the Guru of the goal?
 
M Emptiness is the root of the rootless.
The root resides in the Now.
The Guru of the goal is mute.
 
G Where does the vital breath rise?
Where does the mind come from?
How is the speech born and where does it dissolve?
 
M The birth of the mind is from the Formless,
the vital breath from the mind, speech from the breath –
speech is dissolved in the mind, nothing has happened.
 
G How can the conscious mind attain to self-transcendence?
 
M The already-awake can attain to self-transcendence.
 
G How did the first consciousness begin?
How was I born?
 
M As oil is in the sesame seed, as fire is in the wood, as fragrance
in the flower, so too the Emptiness Mother is pregnant by
God with all possibilities.
 
G If I forget it, how am I to cross over?
 
M By forgetting.
 
G In what direction was the body born?
 
M In the direction of Yes the body takes birth.
 
G How can one attain to Samadhi?
How can one get rid of the disturbing distractions?
How can one enter the fourth (Turiya) state?
How can one make one’s body changeless and deathless?
 
M One enters Samadhi through the mind,
gets rid of the disturbances through the vital breath,
acquires the fourth state (Turiya) through attention,
and through submission to the Sun of Self attains Solarity.
 
G Who sleeps, who wakes, who goes to the ten directions? Wherefrom
does the vital breath arise?
 
M The mind sleeps, the vital breath with
consciousness awakes co-mingled, imagination
goes out to the ten directions, nothing has happened.
 
G What is the conscious? What is the essence?
What is sleep and what is death? How is the body sustained?
 
M The light is conscious; fearlessness is the awakened
essence. Waking is birth and sleeping is death; the body
dwells in light, where are you?
 
G Who speaks, who sleeps; in what form does one seek oneself?
In what form does one remain the same through the ages?
 
M Speaking speaks; attention sleeps; one seeks oneself in
an invisible form and in that form without form one
remains unchanged through the ages.
 
G How does Time or Death go to sleep?
 
M Contemplating itself, Time or Death goes to sleep.
 
G How can one be free?
 
M Unclench your fists.
 
G Where does hunger arise and where food?
Where is sleep born and
where death?
 
M From desire arose hunger and from hunger, food;
from food sleep and from sleep, death.
 
G What is truth? Do tell me, please, O Guru!
What is the condition or direction of the mind and the breath?
How can one achieve liberation with their help?
 
M From mere seeing to divine or spiritual perception,
from knowledge to ultimate realization,
the teacher and the pupil have the same body.
 
G How should one come, how go; how to collect oneself and remain
absorbed; how can one stabilize one’s mind and one’s body?
 
M One comes and goes nowhere — in That
collect yourself and remain absorbed; in the Natural State
the body and mind become transparent.
 
G Where does Shiva reside and where Shakti? Where resides vital
breath and where the embodied being? At what place
can one have the realization of them?
 
M Shakti resides below and Shiva above, yet are not two;
inside resides vital breath and further inside
the embodied being dwells; by going further still, one may
attain to a glimpse of them, and in that jasmine garden,
dissolve in them.
 
G How should one sit and how walk, how
speak and how meet; how should
one deal with one ‘s body?
 
M He should sit, walk, speak and meet awake and aware;
with his attention and discrimination,
he should live fearlessly.
 
G What is the word; what is attention; what is
discrimination? How can one remain stable
amidst duality?
 
M The Beginningless, the Soundless is the word;
consciousness is attention; non-clinging is discrimination;
live as Unity amidst Duality, attached to neither.
 
G Who can tread a path without feet? Who can see without eyes? Who
can hear without ears? Who can speak without words?
 
M Contemplation can tread without feet; discrimination
can see without eyes; attention can hear without
ears; the Soundless can speak without words.
 
G What is the posture? What knowledge? How should the beginner
meditate? By what means can one enjoy the
bliss of the Unconditioned Being?
 
M Contentment is the posture; contemplation is the
knowledge; try to change nothing in meditation;
through submission to the Heart one enjoys
Unconditioned Being.
 
G How to have contentment and contemplation and meditation that goes
beyond the physical? How can I bend my mind to them?
 
M Contentment comes from fearless non-avoidance;
contemplation from non-identification.
Meditate as the body to transcend the body; by letting
the story of the separate self-sense end,
no mind requires bending.
 
G How can the river of grace enter the mind?
 
M Don’t worry, be steady –
you swim in it!
 
G How can one carry out true living and how can one carry on
meditation? Where is the immortal elixir? How can one drink it? How
can one keep the body for ever?
 
M By turning to the higher mind, you can attain right
living; by turning to Shakti you can achieve right meditation; by
turning to bliss you can have the elixir of immortality,
and by turning to conscious activity you can drink it.
By relinquishing desire, one can gain the immortal body.
By hearing all of this and simply walking on, you may
become a human being, at last.
 
G How should one come and go; how can one defeat death
How can one reside in light?
 
M Realize that which neither comes nor goes –
Your own native state.
Be wingless and eat away death; reside in light by
being nothing other than light.
 
G What is body, what is breath; what Person should I
meditate upon? At what place does mind transcend Time?
 
M Consciousness and life force is the body — inhale, exhale.
Meditate on the Supreme Person. Mind is time.
 
G Which is the key and which is the lock; who is old and who is
young?
Where does mind remain awakened?
 
M The wordless is the key and the word is the lock;
the unconscious one is old; the conscious one is young;
mind transcended is ever awake.
 
G Who is the practitioner and who the perfected?
What is illusion and what is magic?
How can one drive away deception
from one’s mind?
 
M Attention is the practitioner and the word is the adept;
“I am” is the illusion (Maya) and “He is” is the magic. To destroy
deception or duality one should allow it to reveal itself as
an innocent example of mistaken identity.
 
G Which is the temple, which the door; which is the image and who is
the Unfathomable? By what method of worship can the mind
transcend itself?
 
M Emptiness is the temple; the word is the door; Light is the image;
the Flame is the Unfathomable; all methods are perfect, yet
all methods are fruitless. This is the worship transcending mind.
 
G Which is the lamp and which is the light? What is the wick wherein
the oil resides? How can the lamp be made inextinguishable?
 
M Knowledge is the lamp; the word is the light,
contentment is the wick in which the oil resides;
when the light falls from your eyes to the ground,
when the lamp is smashed into mere shards of glass,
what remains is the Inextinguishable.
 
G What goes slow and what goes fast? Who revolves and what is the
find? In what place can one be fearless?
 
M Steadiness of mind goes slow; restless thought goes fast;
interpretations on perception revolve, what was never lost cannot
be found. Be fearless in love.
 
G Who is a Yogi? How should he live? Who is an enjoyer
and how should he acquire? How does pain rise out of pleasure
and how can one patiently suffer pain?
 
M Mind is the Yogi; let him live in self-transcendence; the great
elixir will come to him and he will taste the bliss — in that
elixir is a secret poison; the word of the Guru secures
the patience to suffer it.
 
G Which is the self, what comes and goes? Which is the self,
what is absorbed in the void? What is the self, what stays
changeless ?
 
M The self of vital breath comes and goes; the mind-self
is absorbed in the void; the knowledge-self resides unchanged in the
three worlds. All dance together on the stage of Awareness,
nothing happens.
 
G What is the life of the mind? What is the support of
that life? What is the basis of that support? What is the form
of the Absolute?
 
M The life of the mind is a play of consciousness, its support is
Emptiness; the basis of that support is the unspeakable
form of the Beloved; yet the form of the Beloved is
the most ordinary and overlooked.
 
 
 
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Gaudupada Re-Visited

(Musings based on the writings of Sri Gaudupada, ( c. 8th century CE), a very early Teacher in the Advaita Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy. He is traditionally said to have been the grand-guru of the great teacher Adi Shankara, one of the most important figures in Hinduism).

 

As a child, I was shown scenes of utter nuclear annihilation in my dreams. I recall walking through cities ablaze, and these experiences served to prod me in the direction of service to humanity. Because I knew of no other avenues at the time, I ended up entering a Catholic Seminary at 13, with the intent on helping as many as possible to find relief from the fear hanging over everyone and everything. I studied there for 7 years, before eventually realizing that religion was no longer an appropriate vehicle of service, and so I embarked on a search for the real truth that could relieve the suffering I witnessed both within and all around me.

That being said, it’s important to realize and then remember that nothing we can see, think, or know is actually real. From the angle of vision coincident with awake awareness, there’s neither birth nor death, neither appearance nor disappearance, neither creation nor destruction, neither bondage nor liberation. This is the truth expounded by Gaudupada and Advaita, and one that became obvious in my own case when all conditional supports were shattered in the midst of a life and death crisis.

The wise know that there’s neither unity nor plurality – the world is neither one nor many. It’s more like a virtual reality game, and we have taken our places here in these game bodies to test ourselves, to see what we are really made of deep down at the core. Whatever appears in life or vision is part of that test, to gauge what our reaction will be. We are not here to acquire some enlightenment that is not already true of us, and progress through various stages until we arrive at some exalted destination. We ourselves are the destination — we go nowhere. There’s never been a human being in need of honor, protection, and freedom. That’s all props and stage sets for the game, the play of consciousness, the dream.

The external world has no existence independent of the consciousness which perceives it. Mere perception and practical utility cannot prove the reality of the world. For even in dreams there is perception and practical utility – water in a dream can quench the dream thirst as much as real water can quench real thirst. The waking state is on par with the dream state, and both are real within their own order — that’s important to recognize. But from the ultimate standpoint, both are unreal.

Reality is the pure Essence of Self – the ultimate subject, which is radiant consciousness beyond human conception. It is not the empirical self, because that which has empirical existence cannot be ultimately real. The real is pure consciousness, awareness itself, which is immanent in both the subject and the object and yet transcends them both. It transcends the trinity of the knower, known and knowledge. It has neither attachment nor connection nor relation to anything else. It is self-proved, self-existent, innate and uncaused. Even to say that it is the “unborn” is valid only from the empirical standpoint – for it is beyond the intellect.

The self-luminous Source, by the power of its own illusion (Maya), imagines itself by itself and it is this Self which cognizes the ephemeral diversity of the world, with all its drama and shifts and upgrades and downgrades, and so on to infinity. Just like a rope, which is mistaken for a snake, the Self is mistaken to be the individual subjects, the mental states and external objects that constitute our 3-D take on what’s what. And just as when the rope is known, the imagined snake vanishes, likewise when the non-dual Self is realized, the duality of subject and object disappears.

The non-dual Self is realized when the individual self (soul) passes the tests it has established for itself in the 3-D program and is awakened from its amnesia. The Absolute is unborn, dreamless, sleepless, motionless. It’s “where” all the categories of the intellect are merged, where all duality finally ceases in the embrace of unconditional love. There’s neither going to nor coming from it. It is the “Lord” immanent in the universe, abiding in the hearts of all. It is realized by the sages who know the essence of reality, and are free from greed, envy, hatred, delusion, and attachment to any dreamy outcome arising from virtual causes and conditions.

The Absolute is like space, and souls are like space placed in containers of various sizes, shapes, and descriptions. When the bottle is broken open, the space in the container merges into the open space. Likewise, when ignorance is destroyed through direct recognition, the soul merges into Source. Spaces in bottles may differ in form, function and name, but still there’s no difference in space. Likewise though the souls may differ in form, function and name, there’s no difference in Source. All elements, subjective as well as objective, are by their nature serene from the beginning, unborn and merged in the Absolute. They are so because they are nothing else than Source itself, which is unborn, uncaused — only. In truth, there is only “This”. All else is ignorance, delusion — virtuality.

So what constitutes this prison, this container, which is the apparent cause of our seeming bondage? The container is nothing but ignorance. The test is to see through the delusion. Duality is the product of the intellect and when the intellect is transcended, duality disappears. What’s left is pure awareness, devoid of all thought determinations and imagination. It is the serene eternal Light behind the mind. It is incomprehensible bliss, which transcends happiness and misery. It is indescribable, unborn, changeless and non-dual.

If I was to cut to the bottom line, I’d say . . .
“It’s You!”

 

“We live in illusion and the appearance of things. There is a reality. We are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That is all.”

~Kalu Rinpoche

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From the Depths of My Heart to My Mother

Mother — the mind, the mind!
 
By recognizing its true nature, we can free ourselves from every suffering.
However, as long as we do not, we will continue to be confused by its endless parade of challenging and bewildering manifestations in the form of thoughts and images, illusions and delusions.
 
By haplessly and habitually identifying with whatever arises in our mind, we create the basis of our own stress, dissatisfaction, and discomfort.
 
Consequently, let’s open our eyes to our real condition and understand it once and for all.
 
In reality, there exists an unconditioned nature, the true and ultimate essence of the mind.
 
It is our original innocence, before we began adding worldly knowledge and stories of “me and mine”, “self and other”, “good and bad”.
 
If we leave this mind in its state of immediate unfiltered presence, without seeking to modify it in any way with our ideas about how it should be, or about how we should be, or about how the world should be, then its spontaneous and primordial wisdom will manifest naturally.
 
Now, what constitutes the unconditioned wisdom of instantaneous pure presence?
 
However much we try to define or think it, it is beyond the grasp of the intellect.
It never began, it resides nowhere, it knows no interruption.
 
It cannot be objectified or pinned down.
 
Nothing that we can see or know has any independent existence.
 
In other words, everything depends on something else for its existence, just like the flower depends on light and rain, which in turn also depend on the sun and clouds, which also depend on various other elements, all the way down to sub-atomic particles, and so it is throughout the universe, with everything originating dependently.
 
Everything permeates everything, nothing is separate, despite how things might seem if we do not look closely.
 
That is why the term “illusion” is applied to describe appearances, because everything is actually “empty” of any inherent existence, despite seeming to be solid and independent.
 
Just so, the essence of mind has always been the purity of that very emptiness, which pervades everything totally.
 
Indeed, mind’s nature is clarity, an open, spacious, and transparent awake awareness, which possesses the quality of wisdom in a state of total self-perfection.
 
Instantaneous presence, the union of empty essence and clarity, is the state of primordial purity — the unfabricated, uncontrived nature of mind itself.
 
It is actually the basis for the appearance of anything and everything.
 
Truly recognizing this state is what is called “the view of the total completeness of self-perfection.”
 
In this very moment, what does that actually mean?
 
If we look at an object to our right, and then shift our attention to an object on the left, in the moment in which our first thought vanishes and before the second one arises, don’t you sense a fresh awareness of the instant, untarnished by the mind, clear, limpid, naked, free?
 
Stay a while in contemplation, Mother, and observe!
 
By paying attention in this way, we can notice a gap, or space between thoughts, and it is there where we can rest attention.
 
Right there!
 
This is an example of the authentic condition of instantaneous presence, and also of what is called “the absolute equality of the fourth time,” which transcends the three times of past, present, and future.
 
At the moment in which you no longer rest in this state, doesn’t a thought arise, swiftly and spontaneously?
 
Pay attention, Mother, and notice how it happens!
 
Right there!
 
This is what is called “the uninterrupted energy of emptiness”, which is the essence of instantaneous presence.
 
If you do not recognize a thought as soon as it arises, then thoughts will multiply in the ordinary way, and thus you will be drawn back into the passing parade, rather than simply resting and observing the mind stream without identifying or fixating on any part of it.
 
This is what is meant by “the chain of illusions”. This simple activity of identification is the basis for our endless wandering about in a disturbing dreamland. We believe we are the thoughts, when in reality we are merely their witness.
 
Mother, when a thought is suddenly born in you, whether good or bad, recognize it immediately!
 
Stay with pure presence, relaxed in its state, without entering into action.
 
That is, neither accept or reject it, neither suppress nor indulge it, neither try to block it or entertain it.
 
In this way, by not creating some attachment based on accepting or rejecting, good or evil, pleasurable or painful, all such conflicting thoughts dissolve on their own, or in other words, are self-liberated.
 
They freely melt back into the space where presence and emptiness are indivisible. This is called “the fundamental union of view and meditation” — that dissolving of tension and stress in the total completeness of self-perfection.
 
When all doubts and uncertainties regarding the view of the nature of total completeness are dissolved from within, then continuing in that state is called “meditation.”
 
To support this view of the natural state, one needs to relax the consciousness of the five senses, starting with sight and hearing, without blocking those functions, while staying serene and detached.
 
If the various consciousnesses of the five senses become blocked, this means that one has fallen into dullness and lack of clarity.
 
In that case, one must make one’s condition more lucid and transparent.
 
If one meditates with some personal goal or aim in mind, there is great risk that the meditation will become analytic or conceptual, and this creates a new set of impediments.
 
Rather, it is enough just to leave consciousness in its original state and at the same time not let oneself become distracted. Since distraction is equivalent to falling into illusion, it is important to focus attention on not letting illusions multiply.
 
Remember, whatever thought arises, whether it be good or bad, neither reject or approve it, but let it liberate itself in the same way it arose.
 
Whatever thought arises, good or bad, let it manifest, but do not become involved by making judgments about it.
 
Just as waves, after churning on the surface of the sea, eventually turn calm and serene, so too is thought, when left as it is, also liberated into its own prior state.
 
Some so-called meditation experts claim that meditation consists in stopping thought and achieving a state free of thought, but this is the opposite direction from the path of dissolving of tensions in total completeness.
 
To stop thought is an action. Undertaking an action while meditating can become a further source of confusion, perpetuating the sense of stress and dilemma.
 
It is definitely not the way to liberate oneself from suffering born of mistaken identification.
 
Therefore, when a thought arises, regardless of whether it is perceived as good or bad, the key is to continue in a state of pure presence and clarity, without involving oneself in any actions based on either blocking or multiplying thought.
 
When one continues in this state, whatever mental object presents itself does not become a target for our attachment. Our perception of it remains in its fresh, original condition.
 
Thus all phenomena which appear as objects manifest without their specific character being changed or sullied by thoughts deriving from attachment.
 
We refrain from adding any of our own fantasies of interpretation to perception.
 
In this way, everything that appears and is recognized becomes that wisdom which is the union of emptiness and clarity.
 
This recognition of one’s own state, which is a condition of pure clarity and presence, can eventually become continual, whatever our daily activity might be.
 
When walking, when eating, when seated, when lying down and so forth, if a thought arises which is linked to an emotion or passion (for example to a pleasure or a pain, or to something good or evil), do not yield to the impulse of trying to manipulate it.
 
Any sensation of pleasure or pain, if observed and left in its purity and innocence, will dissolve in the same way it emerged, without our interference.
 
The principal cause of our suffering is due to our unconscious inclination toward grasping and avoiding, so use every occasion to return to that deep natural state in which all concepts of acceptance and rejection purify themselves in their own condition.
 
May the ultimate meaning of the Awakened State arise perfectly in you, Mother!
May all beings who have contact with you liberate themselves in the primordial space of Supreme Enlightenment!
 
 
This was written by the dzogchenpa Namkhai Norbu in Lhasa on the twenty-fifth day of the first month of the male earth dog year, 2502 years after the parinirvana of the Buddha (that is, March 1958) at the moment of separation with his mother, and then freely transliterated by Bob O’Hearn, as a gift from his Friend Fukasetsu Marcel Vuijst to his mother, on her birthday, September 13, 2014.
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Amos the Liberated Soul

A monk asked Master Chao Chou:
“Does a dog have Buddha Nature?”
 
Chao Chou barked back: “Wu!”
 
Wu means no, but does no mean no?
 
According to the ancients,
there are eighteen major wus and
countless number of minor ones
before perfect enlightenment.
 
This does not necessarily mean
it will take a long time –
it may take no time.
 
Buddha said that all animals
possess the Buddha-nature.
 
So why did Master Chao Chou,
who was enlightened, say
a dog did not?
 
Consider this:
 
Amos arrived in the form of a dog.
Although we gave him the name “Amos”,
he is essentially prior to any tag.
 
When mind assumes the form of Amos
it has suffered no decrease;
 
when it becomes a Buddha
it adds nothing to its bowl.
 
Amos does not think,
“I am this, I am that.”
 
Such thoughts melt away.
He is crouching, relaxed, still.
 
Without pleasure or pain,
distraction or concentration,
learning or ignorance —
his nature is free of conditions.
 
Win or lose,
it makes no difference to him.
 
Alone in the forest or supermarket parking lot,
a god in heaven or a four-legged barker,
it makes no difference!
 
He is free of duality.
 
Wealth or pleasure,
duty or discrimination
mean nothing to him.
 
What does he care
what is accomplished or neglected?
 
Finding freedom in this life,
he takes nothing to heart
(at least not for long).
 
He has nothing to do
but to live out his life.
 
He lives beyond the boundaries
of desire, but would like to be
let out to pee when nature calls.
 
Delusion of the world,
meditation on the truth,
Liberation itself –
what are they to him?
 
You see the world
and you try to dissolve it.
 
But he has no need to.
Still, he always appreciates
a good meal.
 
When you are distracted,
you practice concentration.
 
But Amos is undistracted.
 
He has nothing to fulfill.
What is there left for him to accomplish?
 
He acts like an ordinary critter.
But inside he is quite different.
 
He sees no imperfection in himself,
no distraction, nor any need for meditation.
 
He is awake, fulfilled,
free from desire.
 
He neither is nor is not.
 
Sometimes he looks busy,
but he does nothing.
 
Yawning or barking, running or
just lying around, he welcomes
whatever comes his way,
and he is happy.
 
He is free, sniffing the wind
without complaint, from life to life.
 
He has gone beyond the world,
beyond joy and sorrow.
 
His mind is always cool.
He lives as if he had no body.
 
His mind is simple and pure.
He delights in the Self.
 
There is nothing he wishes to renounce.
He can touch his nose with his tongue!
 
Amos is relaxing now.
 
He is not devising strategies whereby
he might transcend himself.
 
The elements of nature,
the body and the senses —
what are they to him?
 
A sniff?
 
What are holy books,
or knowledge of the Self,
or the mind, even free of aromas?
 
What is emptiness or despair?
Or happiness, or freedom from desire?
 
He is always one without two.
He eats from his own bowl.
 
(Well, sometimes, from our hands.)
 
He is neither pre- nor trans-.
He came already spayed.
 
Knowledge or ignorance,
freedom or bondage,
what are they to him?
 
What is “I,”
or “mine,”
or “this”?
 
Amos is always one.
 
What does he care for freedom
in life or in death,
or for his present karma?
 
He is always without “I”.
 
He does not object to being lived
by the unknown, nor taken
for a nice walk.
 
So where is the one
who acts or enjoys?
 
Who wags the tail, even while
knocking some things over?
 
And what is the rising
or the vanishing of perception
to Amos when he snores?
 
In his heart he is one.
What more can one ask?
 
Who seeks freedom,
or wisdom or oneness?
 
Who is bound or free?
 
In his heart he is one.
 
What is creation,
or dissolution?
 
What is seeking,
and the end of seeking?
 
Who is the seeker?
What has he found?
 
He is forever pure.
 
What does he care who knows,
what is known,
or how it is known?
 
What does he care for knowledge?
 
What does he care what is,
or what is not?
 
He is forever still, until
he hears things.
 
He’s still working on
impulsiveness —
 
Practice never ends.
 
What are joy or sorrow,
distraction or concentration,
understanding or delusion?
 
He is always without thought.
 
What is happiness or grief?
 
What is here and now,
or beyond?
 
He is forever pure.
 
What is illusion,
or the world?
 
What is the little soul,
or God Himself?
 
One without two,
He is always the same.
 
He sits in his heart, even
licks his nose.
 
What need is there
for striving or stillness?
He sits and runs.
 
What is freedom or bondage when
there are cats to chase?
 
What are holy books or teachings,
but chewy toys?
 
What is the purpose of life?
He’s got all his shots.
 
Who is the disciple,
and who is the master?
 
For he has no bounds, and
likes to ride in the back seat.
 
He is Shiva.
So are you.
So am I.
 
He would never run away.
What more is there to say?
 
Woof!
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Chain of Causality

Home everywhere, happy anywhere (in this case, Savathi), Sakyamuni Buddha caught his friends’ attention when he kindly shouted out,

“Hey, let’s look at the links in the chain of causation!

Well, originally we haven’t a clue.

This is called “ignorance” — the typical case of temporary amnesia necessary to learn what we need from our human experience by making it all seem real.

From this ignorance, we begin creating stories. These stories eventually coalesce into a sense of self-consciousness, which generates more narratives and memory files about our shiny new fictional identity in order to confirm its existence.

This “me project” requires perception, memory, and imagination to merge with the life force and enliven the cognition of individuated physicality via the various sensory faculties. The “person” is born.

Now, this sense of self is primarily feeling, and what’s being felt is desire. This desire means to grasp and cling until it is satisfied – no, it can’t slow down, it cannot rest.

This is also called “becoming”. It is the creative impulse which takes breath and birth, an appearance in time, and thus is also subject to impermanence.

For all of that which resists and conflicts with change, that strives to hold on to the slightest wisp of a story: dissatisfaction, suffering, and grief  is the outcome.

And that’s the whole damn thing in a nutshell!

On the other hand, awakening to our true nature and condition dispels ignorance, and from the remainder-less fading and cessation of that very ignorance, comes the end of the personal story.

From the end of all such stories comes the realization of the insubstantiality of any narrator – the end of self-conscious identification — nothing to name, nothing to crave, nothing to cling to, nothing to become.

Free at last!

From there, one can actually do some good!”

Having heard this, the friends all nodded in agreement, saying to each other,

“How about that!”

 

 

(The ‘dependent origination’ doctrine is presented in Vinaya Pitaka 1.1–2, in abbreviated form in Samyutta Nikaya 2.1, 2.19 and 2.76)

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Avadhut Gita

Hymn of the Happy One
 
( A Free Transliteration of
The Avadhut Gita, by Dattatreya)
 
 
Lyrics I
 
 
1. Fear is perpetually exceeded by the power of Love. I bow down to Love!
 
2. How can I bow down to Love, when I am Love, and Love is indivisible from Itself? Nevertheless, there is bowing, bowing.
 
3. I alone am, arising and dissolving within myself. How simple — I die into life! What Love! Join me?
 
4. Love is all, bondage and freedom both. What a great mystery – nothing is bound, so why talk of freedom? Just love, and see if you exist!
 
5. This is the whole substance of Wisdom; this is the essence of knowledge, theoretical and intuitional. Just so, discard it all — find out what remains. No one can say a word.
 
6. Love, which is the heart of all, impersonal and changeless, life itself, neither pure nor impure – Yes, that’s what I am. Personal and changing too – ordinary enough.
 
7. The heart has no memory for poison, what need I fear?
 
8. The activity of mind, judgment and interpretation – what a carnival side-show! I am the light that still burns when the clowns bed down.
 
9. Some say the mind is like space, having no independent existence. Look – a ghostly acrobat flies through the air!
 
10. Say I am limitless, say I am not. What is it to me? I alone am – no one sleeps, no one wakens but me.
 
11. Awareness — beyond creation, beyond destruction, informing all beingness perpetually, dark womb of all light.
 
12. I am indivisible. How can perfection be divided?
 
13. A song to myself – I am all of this, this is all of me. The Holy Books say I am this or that, but who is there to agree or disagree?
 
14. Since I am, you are too. We can all relax about that. Namaste!
 
15. Neither unity nor separation have a place to land in you or me. All that is, is alone. “I”, “you”, “the world” – no substantial existence. There is no victim. Shanti. Shanti Om.
 
16. The subtle faculties of touch, taste, smell, form and sound which constitute the notion of an external world are not you, nor are they inside you. You are bigger than anything you can know.
 
17. Losing oneself in the One, finding there’s nothing to lose. Birth and death — no, not you, nor any kind of limitation. Why worry? We’ve no name, no number.
 
18. Oh mind, why run around like an addict on the dope of fear? Recognize the innocence of your Original Nature and be happy.
 
19. In the midst of endless modification, you are what doesn’t change. Nothing to attach to, nothing to avoid. Just understand desire.
 
20. The Holy Books speak of a soul without attributes, ever pure, imperishable, the eternal Truth. Check it out – that’s you! But you’re not in a book or a body.
 
21. Recognize it all, physical and subtle, as a projection of your own mind, an illusion. The underlying substratum is eternal. By allowing this Truth to live one, how happy are we! All the baby love words rhyme spontaneously to me!
 
22. Wise Folk call this, “Just Being”. By practicing letting go, the mind sees neither duality nor unity. Let go of even that – let there be duality, let there be unity. In any case – we’re bigger than that.
 
23. In the same way that you can’t hold onto a dream, you can’t hold onto yourself. “Is” and “is not” don’t apply to you either. In this happiness, how does searching for happiness make any sense? Relax.
 
24. Immaculate Innocence, that’s what we are. How can we even say: “I am a friend” or “I am a stranger”?
 
25. The Holy Books say, “That’s You, You Are That!” They also say, “Not this, not that!” It’s no contradiction to you, and that’s that!
 
26. Hindus call you “Atman”, the spirit breath of all. In you is neither practitioner nor object of practice. Why, O mind, do you meditate?
 
27. I don’t know what I am, so how can I speak of myself? I don’t know who I am, so how can I worship myself?
 
28. I am myself, the only one like me, in fact, the only reality. Aware space is my nature. This is not an imagination, there’s neither one nor any, you nor me – we’re free!
 
29. Free from subject and object am I, how can I be self-realizable? Uncreated is my nature, nothing else exists. Love Supreme is my nature, nothing else exists. Really, nothing exists! How mysterious! Yet everything Is — how ordinary!
 
30. Not death, not what dies, I am the Absolute Reality, the Witness of my own death. I die into life, yet neither live nor die.
 
31. Break a bottle, space melts into space. Purity into Purity.
 
32. I alone am, awareness itself. Really, there is no bottle, no glassy space, no embodied soul, not even a trace, no nature, no story, no once and future glory.
 
33. There is no world, no holy teaching, no gods, no surrender, no religion or politics, no tribe and no gender, no smoke-ring path, no image to defend, no pretender.
 
34. To speak of dualism or nondualism entirely misses the point. There is only What Is, Reality itself. Speak as you will!
 
35. Still, how can the supreme Reality be described, since it is prior to perception? How can what comes after know about what precedes it?
 
36. “I eat,” “I give,” “I act” . . . such statements do not apply to you, Birthless One!
37. When there is only One, who speaks, who listens? Who the Teacher, who the student? Who the lover, who Beloved?
 
38. Know for sure, “I am timeless, taintless awareness, unimaginable Love!” Know it beyond belief as what’s true! It isn’t difficult!
 
39. From here to there, nothing but light; see for yourself. What part is evil, what part good, what use of such conflictions?
 
40. The absolute void and its composite opposite, in emptiness and form — all I am. There is humor here, and poetry, should one take a shine.
 
41. Even to say “Happiness” is a kind of sly comedian’s trick.
 
42. The Truth of what you are is not modified by spiritual practice, and yet we practice. Emptying the mind makes It no clearer. The Guru does not magically reveal It. Jai Guru! It is, simply is, in Itself, by Itself.
 
43. I am neither bound or free, nor separate from my pristine nature. The universe rises and dissolves in me, nor do I regret it.
 
44. Neither doer nor taster of deeds am I. Neither archer nor arrow nor target am I. When the arrow is flying, I am the flying. When the arrow hits home, I’m that sound! Can you hear it? Even now?
 
45. Water pouring into water – just so, form and spirit are one. Empty into empty, bliss within bliss! Pleasure and pain, good fortune or ill, beyond these shades, Relax!
 
46. Why ask, “personal or impersonal?” You’re neither. Before the mouth opens, unsay yourself! Then hear who’s talking now!
 
47. We’re not a problem to be solved, there’s no prize for a winning story. Close the book and exhale. There is nothing broken, nothing to fix.
 
48. Oh mind, why struggle? Fall into the heart, drown in the ocean of your own bliss! Let what happens happen, yours is none of this!
 
49. Not the fruit of a tended vine, I am not what changes. Source of sweetness and thirsting both, spilt wine drops lifting into air, Love’s own intoxication.
 
50. Neither formless or form, inconspicuous in my own absence, the true word is “Silence”. Before we knew, we all knew it.
 
51. Nothing to cling to, nothing to grasp, why wander, restlessness, dear mind? Relax!
 
52. Does the night complain when the stars come out?
 
53. If you say, “Infinity”, that’s what I am. If you say, “Finite”, I’m that too! And yet, I am neither. Neither are you!
 
54. O mind, Beloved – keep quiet! Be still!
 
55. Impervious to the forcefulness of intellect, weary of the beguilements of sensation, just fall into That! Don’t be confused, or be confused, absolutely!
 
56. This is dying beyond death, the death that grants eternity. What Grace to fall, to fail completely! What enormous silence!
 
57. Where knowledge and desire end, there I am. Nothing has changed, nothing has happened. Yes, what Grace!
 
58. The Happy One, the Avadhut, in unshakable equanimity, alive in the holy nothing-special temple of nothingness, walks naked, as this Grace, knowing all to be Love’s own plaything, looking straight into every face, every face one’s own, the Happy One.
 
59. If you imagine that you understand anything about any of this, you have not been paying attention. Regardless, fall in Love and Understand. You and Love are not two, not even holding hands!
 
 
 
 
Lyrics 2
 
 
The Happy One sings:
 
1. Hey Ho — isn’t it so? This revelation has no end! Everything is speaking, singing, teaching – everyone’s got a story to tell. You may think you’ve got the game, maybe gone beyond, but the song of Love sings on and on – one brilliant shine of clear white light, ecstatically streaming through trackless space, and all the while, not moving. Here’s to That!
 
2. The Teacher is always right before you. Be courageous – don’t look away. It’s all clear enough. It will not harm you.
 
3. What’s looking out your eyes? You! The Supreme Awareness and you are not two!
 
4. How can it be otherwise? Don’t fish for an answer, just be it!
 
5. I am before all fish, the ocean of bliss each fish dissolves in. I am the depth of a fathomless sea.
 
6. Mind, a transient fantasy, arises and disappears within me. I am not what changes, slinks, or swishes through the life stream. I am not the dream of the stream.
 
7. I am not what pours over the waterfall, and yet I am that pouring. There’s nothing before or beyond myself — if there’s a wound, I’m the bleeding. Water, I am its very liquidity. Honey, I’m its sweetness. All forms alive are lived by me, all breath is my own breathing.
 
8. Really, I am neither you nor I, and yet we are not separate. Neither at rest nor in motion, we are rest and motion both. The mind, it cannot touch this.
 
9. One can’t compare a thing with itself. I am the being-ness of being — it’s absence when absent, its fullness when full. Neither empty or full, what use are conceits like “perfection” to that which only Is?
 
10. All I do is shine. In the ebony darkness of space, I’m that black-lacquer brilliance. A silent shout through infinity.
 
11. Even as I pervade all things, I am the pervading. Limitless, I abide within every kind of limit. Neither free nor bound, lost or found — I am myself, before the word took meaning. I am the meaning of Mystery.
 
12. This takes some time to settle in. Yes, one breath at a time. To appreciate and understand the mystery of just one breath, grants the life divine.
 
13. Indivisible, ice melts into water – so too the seeker into the sought. Here’s a question, “What’s been gained, what lost?”
 
14. In either case, if you wish to pacify the perpetual churning of conflicted emotional reactivity, remember who you really are, relax — it’s really nothing.
 
15. If someone should try to explain causality to you, just keep walking.
16. Can you separate sunlight from the sun, moonlight from the moon, soul from the Supreme?
17. Be patient – duality and nonduality both are kindling for the flame of your own dawning recognition. You Are! Let that blaze burn bright in you, the rest is smoke and small talk.
 
18. If you are graced to meet someone who can light the match, well then, kindly thank them!
 
19. Burn up all grasping at preferences; be kind to all you meet. If you could see who they really are, you’d fall down at their feet!
 
20. The one who’s been paying attention will notice that there’s no death. Air dissolves into the air, even empty of emptiness.
 
21. There’s a lot of talk about what will be. That’s none of our concern. What will be on the day of our death is no different than here right now.
 
22. Drop your body anywhere – everywhere is holy.
 
23. Those who awaken to what they are know nothing sacred, nothing not. They go along their own way.
 
24. No trace of anything remains, and it goes on forever.
 
25. Such Wisdom is not an object of possible possession, given the play of fortune or fate. Wait …. it’s already too late – seeking it, you’ve just missed it!
 
26. A word to the wise, “It’s you.”
 
27. Relax.
 
28. Unity, duality, a reasonable combination of the two, no conclusion whatsoever, impossible to say . . . all mind. In what does the mind arise? No, mind can’t touch that. Mind can’t touch what you are, mind can’t touch what you are.
 
29. No one can teach you this. It cannot be learned.
 
Note: “If such is so, why sing at all?” grinned a mirthful lad.
 
 
 
Lyrics 3
 
 
1. What can I say? I bow down to Love! Neither personal nor impersonal, ungraspable, unavoidable, the uncreated potential of existence and non-existence both, neither/or, everywhere, nowhere, simultaneously, transcendent of qualities, yet the true within every quality, The One, God, Guru, Self – I Am! Beyond I Am – not a creature is stirring, not even a One. Not Guru, not God, not Self. Jai to That!
 
2. What can I say? Well, here’s a question: How can I bow down to Self, when I am ever Self alone? If there is only God, who bows down to God?
 
God!
 
Just so, from all directions, in all directions, I bow down to God! Jai to Love! Jai to the Heart Love Lives! Yes, I bow down to That!
 
3. Bowing is bowing. Bowing is bowing back. No one can explain this — even so, I bow down to That!
 
4. What can I say? Desireless? Unconditional? Essence? Why truck with words to places words can’t go, where mind on mind’s wheels gains no traction? Don’t forget, You Are! All spacious equanimity, all selfless silent courtesy, all inconceivable grace! Yes, I’ll sing to That!
 
5. What can I say? In practice, accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, by recognizing both as mere arbitrary interpretations upon perception, endless modifications of mind, not you, not what you really are — undifferentiated awareness itself. Some may call that Bliss. Who is there to argue? Jai to That!
 
6. What can I say? Not this, not that, not coming or going, I abide as myself. Within all knowledge, I am the Unknown.
 
7. What can I say? Emptiness — all senses, all faculties, all sense of body or mind. All perception, emotion, memory. All sense of any self, even any witness of a non-existent self — limitless, all-pervasive emptiness. Yes, I bow down to That!
 
8. What can I say? Any idea about this is false. Any notion or fancy. Any concept that this is some possible state of attainment is false. Any concerted cognition that this just might be other than this, or once was, or will be, is false. Ignore thought. Be this! Jai to This! Jai to This!
 
9. What can I say? Wherever there’s fuel, I’m fire. Past, present, future – incinerated, just like that! All of myself, fuel for myself. Beyond fuel and fire, not even ash, I am.
 
10. The seed story of any seemingly-persistent existence is not who you are, nor narrator, nor audience. Nevertheless, enjoy the show! What can I say? I bow down to you! I am You!
 
11. What can I say? That there is no separation in me? No unity, no neither? No frame of reference, no reference to frame? No provisional explanation that is anything like a name? No name, your name. Jai to You!
 
12. If this is all sounding familiar, what can I say? Fate and fortune have nothing on you. You have never existed, Jai to You! This understanding – You Are – is like space. And yet, what stirs in the womb of forgetfulness? Not even a trace! That’s your face! Yes, Jai to You!
 
13. What can I say? You are not the one suffering, the one fleeing, the one racing to far distant finishing lines. You were finished before you began. There is no line, nobody ran, nobody’s running now, nobody ever will. Don’t worry, relax!
 
14. What can I say? If waking, dreaming, and deep-deep sleeping are not what I am, how can I say a word? If there is no past, present, or future, how can I say a word? Even so, “Shanti, Shanti, Shanti Om”.
15. What can I say? This tongue is not my own, nor do I know who speaks, who listens. I am Peace. Jai to That!
 
16. What can I say? Not even the impeccable recollections of imaginary cosmic Lords can place me! Neither heaven nor hell exist in me – the wise might even call that heaven. The wiser wouldn’t even speak. Jai to That!
 
17. What can I say? There is no formula to This. No scripture, no teacher, no science of This. Why struggle with symbols? Even to say, “only awareness remains”, what value is that? What is so hard about just being still?
 
18. I am.
 
Note: And then to the lad, who had quipped from the side, he said, “Now that you’ve dined, wash your dishes!”
 
 
 
Lyrics 4
 
 
1. Nothing can be added or subtracted from the radiant sufficiency of Unconditioned Mind. There’s no place like Home! Still, words and teachings can’t reach it, nor can worshipping with smoke and flowers. Forget everything you may have heard or thought about it. Forget everything. Forget forgetting. That’s worship! Welcome Home!
 
2. At Home, nobody’s lost or found, pure or impure, united or separated — never other than, aware space itself. Even the most heartfelt submission to any otherness may be seen as arising from a subtle sense of division within a fading dream. Let it go. Wake up – You’re Home!
 
3. “Does the world exist, or not?” Rub your eyes! Is there any other Nirvana than this? That you Are?
 
4. Knowledge and ignorance, birth and death, never had a chance with me. Who can say if I’m bound or free – I’m Home, what use are such distinctions?
 
5. No virtue or sin can take root in me, no praise or blame – by nature I’m Nirvana. I am not the one bowing. I am not the one bowed to. I have no message or map. No wisdom. By nature, I’m Nirvana. Jai to That!
 
6. Immaculate innocence am I, neither knower or known, neither cause nor effect, and yet — one with all cause, all effect, simultaneously.
 
7. Body/mind/sensation, or no body, no mind, no sensation – what’s to cling to, what’s to let go? I’m Nirvana.
 
8. Thus, I surrender Nirvana. I let go. What has been lost, what found? What has been subtracted, what added? Bliss into bliss, light into light, Nirvana falls into Nirvana! Jai to That!
 
9. Free from the taint of Nirvana, beyond intelligence or design, neither wise nor foolish, neither silent nor speaking, neither reasonable nor argumentative, I am not the one in conflict, I am not a riddle to be solved, I am what is, simply Is. Is there any other Paradise than this? Jai to This!
 
10. Relinquishing all effort, naturally, the Happy One sees: all is originally perfect, even from taint of Nirvana – Free!
 
11. No magic injunction is binding on me. Mind, that carnival of anxiety, raises no tent in me. No captive animals perform in me, no ringmaster, no ring, no juggling clown of ego, no circus bells that bump and ring.
12. Some say the world is real, others say it isn’t. Some say it’s partly real and partly not, others say it’s like a river. What do I know? I am Nirvana . . . now, not even that. Space-like I am, bliss-bestowing wisdom I am, immortal I am, and now — yes, no — not even that!
 
13. Crazy mind – why be confused? There is no shadow in this light, no name for this un-caused radiance, no rhyme or reason for this mystery I am.
 
14. You are not the body. Beloved, do not fear! Why weep and worry? Change will not harm you. Shanti, Shanti Om.
 
15. You are not the desire, you are not the grasping, you are not the holding on – Beloved, do not fear! The Absolute and you are never two. Shanti, Shanti Om.
 
16. Beloved, the craving for wealth and power only exists in time. You are timelessness itself, no place for “mine and thine”.
 
17. There is no concentrated absorption in the heart, nor anyone to be absorbed. No heartbeat, no fixation, no great chain of causation, no open or closed door.
 
18. Really, there is no “you” or “I”. No world, no teaching, no teacher. This is freedom, this is truth.
 
19. I alone am. Where is freedom, where is truth? Where is sacred or profane knowledge, where is bliss? What is transcendental or ordinary, mysterious or obvious?
20. Beloved, just be.
 
21. Let go of even letting go, then let go of that. Just be.
 
 
 
Lyrics 5
 
 
1. OM
 
2. You are That. You are free. Don’t fret – you Are!
 
3. Oh mind, child of emptiness, rest. There is no up or down in you, no right or left, no within or without. You, just as you are, are the Supreme Emancipation! Jai to That!
 
4. Oh mind, fear is born of imagination, but there is no imagination within you. Events in dreams do not touch you. You don’t change, only words do, and you are free of all words. Just so, Shanti Om!
 
5. Beyond ideas of space and time, higher or lower, right or wrong, inconceivable peace pervades. Oh mind, abide in your own Source! This is the Natural State, this is the everything and the nothing! Jai to That!
 
6. No lid, no jar, no space – this is Grace! There is no person. The incomprehensible chaos of un-caused causality from which the formation of the person-idea somehow evolved does not exist in you. Don’t worry, oh mind, be Happy!
 
7. Relax, oh mind – wherever you roam, whomever you meet, there is only One. Remember, right now, and rest.
 
 
 
Lyrics 6
 
 
1. The whole infinite multiversal manifestation, all galaxies and realms, all gods and goddesses, all demons and angels, all creatures and elements, lovers and friends, deeds and dreams, history and myth, all space and time, visible and invisible: a projection of your own mind! Recognition of one’s own inherent nature is liberation. This is bliss. When mind falls into its own source, mind itself is bliss. Jai to That!
 
2. Mind cannot explain itself. If it can be said, it’s not that. Silence is equally futile. Neither words nor silence – what is that?
 
3. The concept of some pilgrimage through time and space is false. There is no night or day in me.
 
4. No sun or moon ascends and descends in me, no alternating light and shade. Equanimity, absence of desire – these are paper flowers, planted in the air.
5. Neither rest nor motion, bliss or its absence, neither absolute or relative – this is the Absolute, this I am! There is no other!
 
6. Neither first nor last, neither Alpha nor Omega, not a thing, not a cursed or blessed thing, nor a casual or sometime thing, not a many-splendored thing, neither empty nor full, all emptiness, all fullness, all thingy-ness, liveliness, all splendid grace, essence of being, the wonder of futility, the eternal smile — all horses without riders, all carts with no wheels, no driver, nor any destination home. To what never departs or arrives, Welcome Home!
 
7. Beyond mind, how can that even be said? All names, descriptions, theories of measurement, even saying it is indescribable, immeasurable – stories for children when time for bed.
 
8. Nothing is what it appears to be. For example, the vast entirety of creation is but a mere mirage. Take courage, there is neither cloud nor water in it! I alone am.
 
9. Birthless and deathless, any strategy of doing or not doing is equally superfluous. I alone am.
 
10. The amazing marriage of life force and consciousness is performed in the chapel of cause and effect. Since I alone am, there is neither bride nor groom, witness nor service, preacher or vow. All go in peace. Jai to That!
 
11. Who suffers?
 
12. Within the Eternal Principle, there is no age, no good old days, nor bad. Duality’s axioms are temples of sand.
 
13. Truth is independent. How can the limited mind, which appears and disappears, which is origination-dependent, possibly discern that limitlessness in which it arises and dissolves?
 
14. There is no creation or destruction in me. I alone am.
 
15. In me there is no gender – can space itself be divided? Like indivisible space, I alone am.
 
16. Pleasure is an interpretation based on the faculties of sensation and cognition, memory and association, yet no such activity is true of me. “I” and “mine” do not apply to me.
 
17. Free from pain and painlessness too, God and the absence of God as well, I alone am.
 
18. Nothing to gain and nothing to lose – discrimination is fine for the objective world, but the objective world does not exist in me. I alone am.
 
19. O mind, what use are your prayers, your mumbled incantations? There is no world before this, no world to come, no world, no “you” or “I”, no “true” and “untrue”, no family, no religion, no refuge, nor any place to flee within me. I alone am.
 
20. Any presumed connection between the teacher and the student is a trick of mind. There is no teaching, nor any holy contemplation. I alone am. This is the whole truth. Who worships, and who is worshipped? Oh masquerading mind!
 
21. You are not the body, nor is the multi-leveled totality of universal functioning happening miraculously in you. What an imagination! You alone Are.
 
22. Absolute Consciousness has no locality, nor can it actually be said to be without form or attribute. All that can be truly told is this — it is what is, what is, is, and you are That. This is the end of all worship, all prayer. Jai to That!
 
23. The Happy One who has realized this, the mystery of all mysteries, the bliss of all bliss, shrugs their shoulders and just walks on, enlightening all on their way.
 
24. Humblest of the humble, servant of servants, the Happy One accrues no merit or taint – such dwell in the temple of vast emptiness. Palms open, immeasurable compassion, unconditional love! Love bows down to Love!
 
25. The Happy One depends on no scriptural map, nor strives for some safe and ideal landing. Having lost oneself in the One, only the One remains. No motive even to do good remains. No discursiveness, no object of mind, no practice, no goal, no person are they. Love is Love, and only loves. This is the Happy One’s Way.
 
26. Done with hope and expectation, with the vanity of idealism – purity, righteousness, the exclusivity of special vision, the arrogance of choice or choicelessness – all these are cast off, dust in the wind. Jai to the Happy One, the Avadhut, all blessing and power, all dignity, all grace!
 
27. Such a One won’t sit and think, “I am not the body”, or, “I am the body”. They’re not inclined either way. No attraction, no aversion, like air – the spotless bliss of the natural state!
 
28. The Happy One is compared to space, to eternity, where neither purity nor impurity can take root, nor variety nor unity, nor freedom or bondage. Free from freedom – who is there that can understand that?
 
29. Neither happy nor sad, troubled or glad, the Happy One sees through both sinner and saint, unity and diversity, mind and its play. It’s the Natural Way. What can one say? Jai to That!
 
30. The Happy One, the Avadhut, is naturally one with Happiness, which is not an object of mind, not an enjoyment or lack of enjoyment, not a unity nor lack of unity, not a part of some bigger part, not “this far and no further”.
 
31. What care I for the toys of this world, the phantom transitions of birth and death, the meditations and willful disciplines of the seeker? I am Happy, effortlessly.
 
32. Not a thing exists. Nothing happens. This is the bliss of the Happy One. The immense complexity and magnificent drama of the grand universal unfolding is not even a vanishing wisp of memory. Not even a fading dream. Nothing has happened. I alone am.
 
32. There is no Dharma or Liberation, nothing to strive for, nothing to become, nothing to attain or release, nothing to do or not do. The Happy One, the Avadhut, just walks on.
 
34. If even the ancient Holy Books are superfluous (except perhaps as winter tinder), what value the words of redundant pundits who squint their eyes and torture their tongues to explain them?
 
 
 
Lyrics 7
 
 
1. When I first embarked on my journey to You, my own Self, with every step, one by one, all my notions of God were crushed.
 
2. As I became more and more absorbed in You, all my previous life – my hopes, my fears, my fascinations – crumbled to dust. Forgotten.
 
3. For those whose mind has ceased to linger in the relentless melodrama of attraction and aversion, whose transparent presence has become loving and compassionate, free of any clinging, any motive to cling, ever at peace, unmoved by the dream, that Maestro, the Happy One, abides as their own Original Nature, the Natural State, at Home, as Bliss.
 
4. There is no room for pride here, nor any emotional reactivity.
 
5. No conflict, no struggle. Deep Peace, Mighty Kindness!
 
6. Ah, the Happy One bears the unbearable, recognizing the inherent perfection of “what is”, and thus is an Ocean of Mercy in the dry and desperate realms.
 
7. Oh Happy One!
 
8. You are Freedom Itself!
 
9. Presence Itself!
 
10. You are Stillness Itself!
 
11. You are Truth!
 
12. Awakened to the Heart of Love, the shadows of life, mind, and body dissolve!
 
13. The Happy One, the Avadhut, is the Sky of the Heart!
 
14. Radiant Light!
 
15. All-pervading Awareness!
 
16. Controlled or uncontrolled – such concepts lose all meaning. There is only Love!
 
17. Oh mind, do not be afraid! Love will not harm you!
 
18. This is the Hymn of the Happy One, the great Dattatreya Avadhut. Having listened and heard it, don’t fall back to sleep!
 
“Happy am I, Free am I, I am the Infinite, unfathomable Peace — Yes, I am Love – all is my Self! All is my Self! Jai to That! I bow down!”
 
 
Free Transliteration by Bob O’Hearn
Paradise, CA
12/16/05
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Amritanubhav

(Jnaneshwar)

Moved by a love indescribable, we adorn ourselves with the passionate radiance of each other’s dreamy form, Lover and Beloved, to celebrate the engaging mystery of duality’s play of consciousness.
 
How amazing, this miracle of Love — that the Beauty we are can know and honor itself as two, not-two!
 
You and I both share the same unspeakable Divinity, and are consumed in the same fire at the Heart.
 
At the playful banquet of our dervish delight, we have become each other’s hunger, food, and satisfaction.
 
What elegant sufficiency is this!
 
If they say we are two, we say, “Not so!” If they say we are one, we can only smile in reply and skip away.
 
No one can say exactly what we are, nor can we.
 
What use are names and forms to such lovers, for whom the whole multiverse is one great juicy plum!
 
Our yearning is our secret — what greater bliss than this?
 
It’s our yearning that draws us into these luminous forms so we can gaze back upon our essential unity in awe and wonder, clapping and spilling warm tears of pure happiness!
 
What can disturb this unity, if there is nothing else but this unity itself?
 
Even to call it “Unity” is a kind of superimposition, a puny fantasy of knowing in the face of the magnificent Unknown of our true being.
 
Even though the entire world of apparent phenomena is but a tiny cell within our infinite body, never for a moment do we let some sense of separation come between us.
 
Both the sentient and inanimate arise, sustain, and dissolve within our own vast emptiness, so why talk about an “other”?
 
Wrapped in robes of golden light, we dwell together in the same heart, as that very heart itself.
 
Reclining on the perpetually flowering blossom called “Endless”, we persist, indivisible, and yet out of such Supreme Enjoyment we have conjured a magical sense of self and not-self with which to play.
 
In child-like innocence, we’ve dreamed a fictional story of “you” and “I”, but when our true intimacy is recognized, we cannot help but drop off the different masks and merge again into our prior union.
 
Without you there is no me, and without me there is no you. I am, because you are, and you are, because I am.
 
How sweet is that, how utterly sublime!
 
Although even the immensity of the universal manifestation is too small to harbor us, nevertheless we can blissfully exist within the smallest atom.
 
Your life is mine, mine is yours. Not even a blade of grass can grow between us.
 
We live in a house called “The Vastness”.
 
When you doze off, I stay up all night and act out both our roles. You do the same for me. What ingenious fun!
 
When we awaken in each other’s arms, the whole multiverse dissolves into quiescent extinction without remainder.
 
For the sake of the game, we pretend to be two, but the aim is always to realize again our basis — Oneness.
 
We’re both seen and see together, live and are lived together, by virtue of the sheer divine perfection that we are.
 
Such is our happiness, that we have become all polarities: light and dark, male and female, day and night, hot and cold, hard and soft, yes and no, and yet we are also beyond both affirmation and denial. Beyond even that!
 
Through our union, everything has its existence. By the light of our Presence, all becomes visible, bright and alive.
 
Two voices, one sound.
 
Two flowers, one scent.
 
Twin flames, one light.
 
Two lips, one kiss.
 
Two eyes, one vision.
 
God and Goddess, one celestial realm.
 
Though appearing as two, forever united.
 
Always drinking from the same chalice, always dining from the same bowl.
 
You cannot live without me, and without you, I cannot even appear.
 
How can we be told apart?
 
I appear because of you, you exist because of me.
 
Who can tell honey from its sweetness, or wetness from water?
 
The sun and its light are not two, and so it is with you and I.
 
The world of form and function is but our playful reflection.
 
If “to be” meant to be many, none of this endless multiplicity could be, unless we are.
 
Whatever appears is mind, but we are before mind.
 
Out of pure emptiness, the unspeakable void, you gave birth to the entire cosmos.
 
In Union, nothing is seen or known, so out of the abundance of your grace, you brought forth the multiverse as your happy play.
 
I assume the Witness position, out of love of watching you.
 
What I behold is your infinite form — a Glory words can’t touch.
 
You adorn me with that very Glory, by melting yourself and becoming everything, and all I need do is step out of the way!
 
In the incomparable thrill of watching you, I can behold the grand totality of the cosmic manifestation. Amazing!
 
If I couldn’t exult in your creative dance, I wouldn’t have even come here.
 
I’d have no reason to exist.
 
I assume the form of all phenomena as a robe you’ve woven out of love for me. Without your gift, I’d be naked.
 
It is only through your graciousness that I appear.
 
You awaken me and serve me a breakfast the size of the galaxies.
 
It is good!
 
I swallow the floating worlds in a single gulp, and then I swallow you too!
 
This makes us laugh out loud, and we are consumed in pure joy.
 
Look! Now I am hiding, and can’t be found without you, because we are mirrors for each other, each revealing the other.
 
Since there is no other, this makes us laugh all the more!
 
Embracing you, I embrace my own bliss.
 
The love I bring to you is your own love, circling back to you in return.
 
The simple mechanics of this natural loving is our supreme happiness, though in reality nothing happens. This recognition makes us even happier!
 
We enjoy the nectar of union by blending and merging, though we have never been separated.
 
For true lovers, this is no paradox.
 
Though all the joy of the world is mine, there is no joy without you.
 
Shiva and Shakti are one, like incense and its fragrance, like fire and its heat, and cannot be separated.
 
If night and day were returned to the sun, there would be no difference between them.
 
In the same way, the veil of duality would dissolve if our essential unity was realized.
 
In the Light of the Supreme Truth, there is no difference between Shakti and Shiva, nor between you and I, Beloved.
 
When we discover our prior Unity, all words, thoughts, and interpretations melt into silence.
Still, the ocean can enjoy its waves, just as a flower its own fragrance.
 
Likewise, all can enjoy the vision of Shiva and Shakti, even though there is no real and enduring separation from them.
 
When the wind becomes still, ripples merge back into the water. When the night is over and dawn breaks through, the one who was sleeping awakens.
 
Just so, when the sense of separate self is seen through and abandoned, as if it were merely last night’s dream, all returns to the clear light of Union.
 
When the lid is removed from a jar, the air inside rushes out spontaneously and merges with the outside air.
This is how we honor our fundamental truth — by joyfully seeing through and discarding all superimpositions and facades of separation, thus realizing our prior and immortal nature — Union.
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